A Must Read – get your SH*T together by sarah knight 

I have to say, Evelyn Wood would be proud!  And if you were born after 1970, you probably have no clue who Evelyn Wood was or is … if she is still alive.  I have no idea.    She may have even been a fictional character. 

Anyway Evelyn Wood had a method for speed reading.  Skipping the a, an, and the … and other little techniques to whip through whatever you needed to finish in a hurry.  I don’t like to speed read. I like to take a leisurely stroll.  And even when I read a single book in 24 hours, it’s because I don’t stop reading.   

I read for hours and hours and hours and hours in a row.  Last night B asks “Are you coming to bed?  Soon let me just get to the end of this chapter.    Which turns into the four chapters.  Followed by are you coming to bed yet?  To which I finally say sssshhhh  then No! Leave me alone!” He knows I love him even when I snap. Grrrr 🤣

Get your sh*t together is not a traditional self-help book. Because of that I can skip around and read chapters out of order and get little nuggets of gold to use or not as I see fit.  I love the author’s sarcastic wit thus far Sarah Knight is very good.  

She gives no magic serum.  No absolutes. Try it. like it. try it. don’t like.  Not made to feel like a failure because you don’t follow these golden rules of getting your metaphorical sh*t together.  

Her first book was aptly titled The life-changing magic of not giving a fuck. I think Billy Bob’s therapist took a line from that play book to help treat Billy.  Back in 2014, after he had his accident. You know the one where he almost died. You know the one where he says “quit saying that.” 

Well it’s true … he almost died. He was on some very heavy medication. From the beginning, they knew he was going to have to detox from it.   Doing so was planned and very heavily scripted … how many to take … over what period of time and then how to wean himself off.  Like a champ, he followed the orders explicitly. 

Though as one might imagine, detox was no picnic. And at that point in time he did see someone for a very brief maybe two or three week period. On day one, the therapist says to Billy “here’s how you deal with it when you start getting anxious and things are out-of-control, you just say fuck it!”   And that’s all it took.  Simple really.  For the rest of his life, from that day forward he goes about thinking “fuck this. fuck that. fuck you. and I don’t care”.  To date, he is the least anxious person I’ve ever known.  And I have known some pretty laid back mofo’s. Lol! 

Anyway I highly recommend you read the book and get your shit together.

As always, more to come.

Worth More Than Gold

I’m not even sure in which category to drop this post. The teacher that Lulu is named after was Pony’s  second-grade teacher.  We had a different name all picked out and after a day in the hospital, we changed it. I don’t even remember why other than a surge of hormones taking over. Or some other such reason.  

Anyway, this teacher was wonderful. She had a little boy of her own about two years old. She was a working mother like we all were … struggling to get by. We would often talk and give each other parental advice.  What we shared in common was a LOVE of reading. She would often say books are worth more than gold.   

I wholeheartedly concur.  However Pony and I are the only readers in the family. Wise now too. But Lulu and Billy Bob haven’t touched a book just because in years.  Anyway one man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say.  

Since I finished my library book a less than 24 hours, I went back to return it and get some more.  A kid in a candy store. I can never decide.   I’ve always had a very eclectic taste which makes deciding that much more difficult.   If liked but a single genre, it might be easy.  

Anyway today I went with a non-fiction biography,  a self-help, and a fictional story but based on real life disease of Huntington’s.  I actually know a lady in real life whose husband and both of her boys have the dreaded disease.  What she went through was unbelievable.  It is simply amazing that she was able to power through day after day.  We’ve lost touch over the last five years or so and I often wonder how things are going (if they are still going). 

So here’s what is on tap for my reading leisure. 

I really do need to get my sh*t together so I’ll start that one first!

As always, more to come.  

Old Baldy

I believe this is a bald cypress tree though I’m not 100% sure.  It is some sort of cypress tree though.  We planted it 10 years ago and it was just a twig at the time. I wish I had pictures from then to compare and contrast. But I didn’t have the foresight.  I wish all the other trees would grow as fast 

Sitting underneath the cypress tree
Old Baldy

As always, more to come.

Book Review – You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

With the opening of our new public library, I had to stop by and pick up a quick read. In less than 24 hours I completed You Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott.  

I will try not to give any spoilers here. Basically this is a story of competitive gymnastics and the human psyche. With several subplots as well. 

As a parent, I related because we all want the best for our children. And in the hard world of gymnastics or any competitive sport I imagine there are characters like the ones in this novel. Hell in real life there are helicopter moms and tiger moms and whatever other kind of moms – the Texas cheerleading moms … who will stop at nothing to help their children succeed. And it’s not just the mothers. Fathers take an equal part in some cases.  

I never ever wanted to be that parent who lived vicariously through my children. I succeeded somewhat. When he didn’t want to play baseball or she didn’t want to dance anymore, we stopped. Yet with every word and every motion, I cast a field of influence. Ones that I can’t take back. Things that I forced upon them without even really meaning to or knowing that I was doing it.  More on that for another day. Suffice it to say words can hurt. And once they’re out of your mouth you can’t ever take them back. My new motto is it’s better to be quiet than to say the wrong thing.

Anyhow, I do think I still want the best and would do whatever I could to help my kiddos.  If they needed my help that is. I’m only an outsider in their lives these days.  Feeling sorry for myself. Feeling unneeded. Feeling like a stranger in a strange land. To quote the title of a book by Robert Heinlein.  I jotted down this scene from You Will Know Me which captures my feelings perfectly. 

“Isn’t it a strange day”, she said, “when you realize you have no idea what is going on in your kids head? One morning you wake up and there’s an alien in your house. They look like your kid, sound a little like them but they are not your kid. They’re something else that you don’t know. And they keep changing. They never stop changing on you.”

To take it a step further, the proverbial question is:  Do we ever really know anyone? No. I don’t think we do. Hell we don’t even really know ourselves.  Until something dramatic happens and life kicks you in the gut,  then maybe you know what you’re capable of. Until you’re tested or experience a tragedy firsthand, it’s really hard to say what you’ll do or how you’ll react.  There but for the grace of God go I and all that stuff.  I’m not trying to make light of it.   I firmly believe that I’m capable of horrors my mind can’t even fathom.  All in the name of protecting my family. Or protecting myself maybe?

However I think I’d be that mom who turned my kid in if he/she ever did something illegal.  You do the crime you do the time.   Actions have consequences. And sometimes you have to learn that first hand. No one can do it for you.   

I hope I haven’t spoiled the book for anyone. I really didn’t give away much of the plot. I suggest you pick it up and read it. It’s a page turner for sure.  And you can see the subtleties in between the lines. As there were many themes along with the major storyline.  And questions of morality as well.  This book is full of things that make you go hmmmm.  🤔 

As always, more to come.