30 x 30: #12 – Spend a day with no technology

2014 09-12 Acadia National Park - Cadillac SummitThis might be my favorite 30 x 30 list item so far. It is the twelfth item I have completed and is one of THREE I did this past weekend while visiting Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor in Maine.

I added this to my list for the same reason I deleted Facebook from my phone. Some days you just spend too much time staring at a screen (eight plus hours a day five days a week) and that doesn’t even include your phone time!

When I first added this to the list, I should’ve clarified the primary intention was no internet or social media, but I did my best to stick to no technology in general. It became difficult as I realized how beautiful Acadia was and I stole a phone a few times to snap a photo (like the above and below), but I didn’t once check in on social media or email. I was, however, VERY glad I saved my sunrise and sunset experience for the next day so that I could document it with my camera and not feel guilty!

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The Classics Club – September 2014 Meme

Classics ClubThe Classics Club moderators are really pushing us out of our comfort zone this month and I’m enjoying it, even if I can’t think of a great answer outside of the excellent example they provide! I might do another “avoid answering” by answering differently, as it’s where I’ve gone in my head.

Select two classics from your list (by different authors) that you have finished reading. Now switch the authors, and contemplate how each might have written the other’s book. For example, what if Charlotte Brontë had written David Copperfield, and Charles Dickens had written Jane Eyre? How might the style, focus and impact change in a work of literature by a different author’s pen? What about William Shakespeare writing Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen writing The Taming of the Shrew? Etc. If you discuss the story, please of course remember to warn folks plot details are forthcoming.

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Book 53: Stone Mattress – Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret - Stone MattressAtwood is an incredible writer and story teller and there’s really not much more that needs to be said, so when I saw her newest collection of short stories I knew I had to request it! I received a copy from the publisher, in return for my honest opinion:

Spectactular.

That would be a little cruel, to leave it just at that even though it would still describe it perfectly. Below, you’ll find a one-to-two sentence review of each of the nine tales and a single quote from each.

On a different note, if you haven’t heard Margaret Atwood is the first author of the future library! This is a project where authors are asked to write a work and it won’t be read for 100 years. This makes me both incredibly happy, as she writes such fantastic speculative/near future fiction, but also sad that I won’t be able to read it! It’s a fascinating project and I could go into it in detail, but really you should just read about it at The Guardian.

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30 x 30: #11 – Grow something from a bulb or seed

2014 05-08 Lemon Basil SeedsI’m calling this one a success, even though I didn’t get to make pesto! I figured if I was growing something it should be something useful, even though the original plan was for something just for aesthetic value.

I picked up the Lemon Mrs. Burns basil from what used to be a farm stand and is now a grocery store and greenhouse near my house back in May and planted them that day!

This item came from Caroline’s suggestions to my list and I really liked the idea for a couple of reasons. I don’t really have a green thumb, so that would make it a challenge, it would either be beautiful or useful (or both) AND, most importantly, one of my coworkers from my old job gave me a set of beautiful handmade clay pots she made with me in mind!

2014 09-06 Best Gift Ever

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Book 52: Chocolat (Chocolat #1) – Joanne Harris

Harris, Joanne - ChocolatThis book has been on my to-be-read shelf for so long it took quite a while to trace where and when I bought it! I apparently picked it up way back in October 2012 when I helped out at the Somerville Public Library book sale! I’m glad I grabbed a copy. I own a copy of the film, but for some reason I never realized they adapted it from a novel!

Add in that when random.org selected it as my next book and I prepared to read it I found out it was a trilogy, my mind was BLOWN! I was a little grumpy at first, because I had a plan worked out to read more of my to-be-read shelf and was trying really hard not to add more in between the books, but I do love a good trilogy! I plan to read two and three, The Girl With No Shadow and Peaches for Father Francis, in the next few weeks and am VERY excited about them!

Now on to the story and my response!

A College Entrance Essay #TBT

2014 09-03 A Long Time AgoI think it’s hilarious that I discovered this on Wednesday so this post just happens to be on a Thursday. I guess we’ll just say this is my first, and probably last, #throwbackthursday.

While cleaning up my computer’s hard drive I re-discovered a folder titled “HS.” I knew immediately what that was, but not what was in it. When I opened the folder I found only a few files, mostly college application related, and it made me feel so old and thus the photo.

I feel like the application process was so long ago, as long ago as the photo on the left, taken in 1988 a month before my fourth birthday. In reality, high school graduation was only eleven years ago and the photo on the right is from some time during my senior year.  I was so baby-faced! And I guess still am when I shave and have had a haircut recently—I was carded for a lottery ticket in the last six months! But that’s not what this is about. this is about what I found.

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Book 51: That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week – Ana Homayoun

Homayoun, Ana - That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last WeekEven though I am incredibly organized, I often think I can be much more organized and wonder how other people stay organized, so when I first heard about this book from Ann on Books on the Nightstand I knew I had to get a copy. I loved the title and wanted to read more about it the organizational suggestions. I grabbed a copy from my local library and here I am.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and it’s set up like many other self-help books: suggestion, how-to, summary and any worksheets or tools you might need. :, does a great job of offering many suggestions for every hurdle, which is great. There weren’t too many new tips or tricks that I felt I could use, but what I found great (and could see where it would help out a teen or pre-teen) is that she explains WHY you should do some of the organizational things you are told to do and doesn’t just tell you to do them. I also really enjoyed Homayoun holistic approach to organizational management for teenagers, from health and fitness to school and extra curricular activities she really pushed for the young men to take control of their own lives and schedules.

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