Friday, May 28, 2010

off we go

Lots to do in getting ready to head out for a soccer filled weekend. I found this quote and thought it summed up several things for my girls.  Win, lose or draw, it is all about team.  No one person wins and no one person loses. It is done as the team.

"I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
Mia Hamm

Good Luck Lady Lobos!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

getting ready for state

My girls are in the process of wrapping up their competitive soccer seasons. It has been interesting to see their seasons come to an end.

One team has girls that are opting not to play in the state games because of various reasons. This leaves the team just big enough to field 11 players, no subs to give relief. It may be one and done for them which is very sad. Playing in the state league was a choice/vote that all the families made months ago.

According to my other daughter, her team, which has a viable opportunity to win the championship, hasn't been practicing with any intensity for the last two weeks and instead is acting like the trophy will just be handed to them when they run on the field.

Both situations provide ample life lessons for my soccer girls.  Finish what you start. Winning takes effort. The last push to the end is the most important part of the journey. NOTHING in life is handed to you. If you practice like it doesn't matter, then chances are, the game will not go your way.

They have both experienced a level of frustration that many adults are all too familiar with when it comes to careers and in some cases even relationships.

Yes, they are very physically fit from their soccer playing, and I hope that they continue to be active in this sport for their whole lives.  They will not always be players, but both have expressed an interest in coaching at some point.  I believe, however,  the biggest benefit they've gained maybe those intangible 'skills' when it comes to understanding commitment, resolve and determination.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

long day in the sun

I should know better. I went out yesterday to edge and mow the yard. Hubby has been so busy during the week and our weekends are filled with soccer, so this outside chore has fallen to yours truly it seems. The girls were at a 3 hour soccer tryout and the boy, after doing poo patrol, headed to a friends to play.  I enjoy doing the work as it is mindless and offers a bit of fresh air and an opportunity to be in the sun. Boy was I in the sun. Didn't realized how much I got while mowing, then later in the day I took two of the three kids to the pool for the first time this year.

I'm a bit red in spots as my sunscreen application left a lot to be desired. Not sure where my brain was, but I missed applying my 30 SPF to some obvious spots on my legs and neck...I look quite splotchy.  Guess I can't talk, answer questions and apply sunscreen all at the same time. Geez.

I didn't get much reading done. I was going to take "The Help" but decided at the last minute to grab a paperback instead. 

I'm going to try and finish the paperback today and begin "The Help'' over the weekend in between our soccer matches. Wish I could read in the car as we have a bit of driving to do over the next several days. Oh well:)

Monday, May 24, 2010

having a ball

Soccer, soccer, soccer.  Lots of that this week as things wrap up for the competitive season and things sort of get started for the high school season.  It never ends for us now; it is a year round sport in this part of the country.

Had a ball, of a different sort, watching the series finale of LOST last night. Loved it. All 4.5 hours of the recap and the new episode.  Perfect. 

Finished The Sugar Queen and have yet to start a new book.  Sarah Addison Allen does a fantastic job with the whole magical realism genre in fiction. I really enjoyed reading her debut book, Garden Spells, and The Sugar Queen was just as rewarding to read. I will have to look for her latest title at the library.

Okay, summer is officially a few days old now at my house and it looks like it will be a warm one if today is any indicator. Hot, sticky and sunny.

But, we are having a ball!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

ready, set, summer

My kids are officially on summer break.  It was a bittersweet moment yesterday as the youngest realized it was his last day of elementary school. That chapter is now closed and a brand new one is set to begin. The familiar faces, the well traveled hallways, the comforting daily routine will be replaced with a lot of UNKNOWN.  Scary and exciting all at the same time.

Not sure when it will feel like summer. The oldest and I agreed that it feels like a long weekend right now. Soccer tryouts for the high school are Monday and Tuesday and then the State league tourney is next weekend. Maybe after all of that is over, it will feel like summer.

In the meantime, I have several books to read. I'm reading "The Sugar Queen" right now and then will dive into a borrowed copy of "The Help."  Going to follow that up with a urban fantasy I nabbed yesterday while I volunteered at the bookstore.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm not a big Christian fiction reader although we are always asked for such books at the bookstore and those authors were often requested inside the library.  I do, however, enjoy reading historical fiction that launches the plot with well know Biblical figures.  The latest book I found that fits this description is "Delilah" by India Edghill.  I've read Edghill's books before and she writes a really good book. She comes at the character from a different angle and fleshes out the circumstances that could have been the reality.  She embellishes, adds, tweaks and creates a wonderfully new take on some old stories.  Good stuff.

Well, summer is officially here for the oldest two kids and the youngest will begin after the last bell today.

Hooray for another year of learning, another year of hard work and another year of well deserved success!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

snip, snip

I ventured out to a new hairstylist yesterday and got a summer hair cut and today I'm going to cut the yard. Lots of cutting going on around here!!

One more day of school for the girls, they are cutting the last two days as they are exempt from finals and don't need to attend.

Two more days for the boy, he's only cutting the last day.

And now, I'm going to cut this short and go read the paper:) 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

reading away

This time of year is perfect for reading outdoors. I took my book, a tumbler of water and sat on the patio enjoying the shade of our unpruned crape myrtle, a light breeze and the birds singing.  In a few weeks it will be too hot, too humid and too buggy to enjoy the patio in the late afternoon. Yesterday, however, was perfect.

I have certain places I enjoy reading. One end of the sofa works much better than the other.  I like to read while tucked in bed.  The patio is another favorite location.

I'm also quite good at reading in the car and have spent untold hours reading there while waiting for the soccer girls to finish a practice.

One place I haven't read for a long time is on a beach. I'd hoped to enjoy a few days of that this summer, but it looks like the oil spill will postpone those plans. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

three and done

I have finally finished the stack of books I purchased from the last sale. I bought ten books, five were urban fantasy and five were literary fiction. The last two were both good reads.  I started with Yasmine Galenorn's "Bone Magic."  This novel was an installment in her Otherworld series featuring the D'Artigo sisters. Good story, easy to read, but you need to have read some of the other books to be able to enjoy the interplay between all the characters. Backstory comes in handy when relationship nuts and bolts are important.  Galenorn writes some of the more spicy urban fantasy, more along the lines of Laurell K Hamilton. 

The next book was "The Monsters of Templeton" by Lauren Groff.  I picked this one up because the striking black,white and red cover caught my eye. The blurb on the cover from Stephen King sealed the deal.  This is a great read.  Well written and full of interesting characters, wonderful dialog and even a mystery of sorts to solve.  Lots of complex relationships in this one, some history and even some magical realism.  Good, good stuff.

The last book, "Silver Borne", I checked out from the library on Thursday.  I enjoy reading the Mercy Thompson series from Patricia Briggs.  The heroine is a shapeshifter, a coyote, who is mated to the local alpha werewolf.  She is also a car mechanic.  Briggs provides a good story, lots of adventure, interesting werewolf pack dynamics and a heroine you can cheer for.

Up next is a book from India Edgehill on the biblical Delilah.  Nothing like totally changing gears!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

don't quit too soon

As the end of the school year approaches, the temptation to ease off and cruise until the last day is very appealing.  This is also a very dangerous approach as 8 weeks worth of hard work can be torpedoed by one week of laziness.

I feel like the voice in the desert as I admonish them to finish strong, don't stop yet, keep working, these last few grades count just as much as the ones you earned the previous 8 weeks!

But, it is so hard when it is 84 and sunny with a nice breeze. 

I finished one of the two books I was reading and made quite a bit of headway on the other one yesterday.  Figure I will recap both of them next week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

to mulch or not to mulch

My flower beds need mulch. Lots of mulch.  But, as Mother Nature has been providing us with copious amounts of water, especially over the weekends, we've been reluctant to order the stuff and have it dumped in the driveway.  It would be our luck that the huge rainstorm would wash it all  right into the gutter and down the drain. Toss into the mix, soccer games for both girls and scouting for the boy. The few weekends where we don't get rain, we aren't home to spread the shredded brown stuff into the flower beds.

So, for now, we are waiting until FALL. Yep, we've missed our window of opportunity and may as well wait for cooler temps, drier air and less weekend soccer.

Still reading away over here. Going to try and finish the two books this week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


As the school year winds down, the kids only have 9 days left, the pace of life accelerates.  It is the mad dash to the finish. We are all tired and ready for summer vacation, such that it is.

I did manage to read "A Reliable Wife" over the weekend. Well. Ahem. I had heard great things about this book and after I closed the back cover I began to wonder if this novel was perhaps the beneficiary of some well placed 'buzz.'  The book has some very beautiful writing in it. Strong, lean prose fills the pages.  The plot is more of a parable and teaching lesson. The characters are quirky cliches.  I  am left with the feeling that the book will be held in a higher regard than it really deserves.

I'm now reading two books at the same time, one urban fantasy and one literary fiction.  More on those later in the week.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I didn't do anything I should have been doing today, which includes writing this blog entry in the morning.  So, here I am in the late afternoon clicking away. Does that make me a slacker or perhaps a free spirit?

For today, I will claim the later title even though the former fits me better!

I am very much a morning person, so this will be short as the words just don't flow well this time of day.

Enjoy the weekend. Happy Friday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In my previous life, I attended many a 'business' meeting. While these meetings had set start and stop times, the published schedule was rarely followed and often the discussion portion would spiral out of control. Yesterday's Friends meeting ran a bit long, something I fully expected due to the nature of our agenda and the fact that the donation of our funds was involved.  People perk right up when donating money is discussed and several questions were asked and comments were made.

Being 'president' is interesting as I feel  I am there to steer the conversations and make sure that the forum is open and conducive to freely flowing conversations. I try to not inject my personal opinion and just provide facts.  In one situation my silence was required after a member made a comment regarding one of the topics. Not easy for me to do, but in that case I decided silence was the best course as she hadn't asked a question and instead stated her opinion.  No real need for a response from me, but it was a bit awkward.

The money topic was tabled and will be removed from the table for further discussion and the vote next month. By then everyone present will have had the opportunity to discuss, mull, ponder and vent about the issues. 

I was tired when I got home. The meeting ran 75 minutes and while not contentious, it was intense in many ways as most meetings are that involve money.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I finished the latest installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. "Dead in the Family" is the tenth book from Charlaine Harris about the Louisiana barmaid and her vampire filled life.  Is this the best book in the series? No. In fact, it may be my least favorite book to date, but that being stated, I still enjoyed the story.

I love Sookie. I love the world Harris has created and shared with us.  I love the complex characters who are so multidimensional and flawed and interesting.  So, even when a book seems to fall short or not strike a major note with me, I still enjoy the time I get to spend in Sookie's world.

This isn't a stand alone story. You have to start with the first book and read them all. Too many plot lines, too many characters, too many big story arc developments happen along the way to not begin and the beginning.

I will reread "Dead in the Family," maybe before the weekend is out.  I tend to zip through these books so quickly that I often don't read slowly enough to enjoy every scene.  I may have more comments after a second read.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A brand new Sookie Stackhouse adventure comes out today, and as soon as B&N opens, "Dead in the Family" will be mine, all mine!!!!  Cue evil/happy laughter.

So, after I hit Wally World for a few necessities, I will be traveling to the mall to buy the book then driving home, as quickly as the law allows, so I can spend the rest of the day on the couch reading.

Better get myself together and at least one load of laundry going so I don't feel like a total lazy butt.

Monday, May 3, 2010


It was, to borrow a word a friend used, a HARROWING weekend. Major storms. Lots of rain. Lots of sirens. Lots of waiting for my hubby and oldest to drive home from the canceled soccer tourney. I think several folks will be writing some serious letter to that soccer club as their decision to try and play was stupid and dangerous to hundreds of families.

So glad calmer weather is ahead and it arrived just in time for us to celebrate a birthday. My middle kid has a birthday today and I have specially requested foodstuffs to make in honor of the event.

We watched quite a bit of TV during the weekend as the power, yippeee, never failed. We watched a few movies, the most notable being "The Blind Side." Loved it....and can see why Sandra Bullock won so many awards. She was perfect. What a nice film.

So, we made it through the storms and a new week is upon us, ready or not.