Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Chuckle

Glad to know I won't be swept away with my panties around my ankles! (This is an actual sign in our local Bed Bath & Beyond store.) Too funny.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sharing a Love of Reading

December 3rd is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Since my son was little (he's now nearly 18), my husband and I have regularly spent Friday nights at the bookstore with Cody in tow. Our local B&N holds Friday night children's storytime, and he loved to listen to the stories and do the crafts or coloring that followed. As he got older, however, and storytime lost its luster, he's chosen not to join us on many occasions--sometimes hanging with friends is much more important than hanging with mom and dad at the bookstore. Go figure. But I like to think that this time together helped to plant seeds for his future.

And I think it has. Although he's just a nibbler when it comes to reading (yes, a children's book editor with a son who has never liked to read, can you believe it?), he does see the value of reading and sometimes even requests a bookstore visit. And I hope that when he's older and has children of his own he continues this tradition.

Is your local bookstore taking part in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day? You can check it out at the link above. If not, take your child anyway...and let the bookstore know that next year you hope they'll join the ranks of bookstores across the country promoting reading to your children. While you're there, I hope you find the perfect book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Photo courtesy of o5com, Creative Commons Attribution License
Last night I was in a bookstore checking out the titles on the Teen Fiction New Releases shelf when I overheard some animated conversation from the other side of  the shelf. It appeared to be a few girls gushing over the books they loved and trashing the ones they hated...and briefly commenting on ones they read that were "all right but not earth-shattering". After a few minutes of listening, I was dying to actually see which ones they were pointing to, so I wandered around the other side and intentionally eavesdropped. The three girls (about 15-16, I'd guess) were chatting comfortably and getting excited to share their finds, both good and bad. They seemed to gravitate toward the romance and contemporary fiction rather than the supernatural and fantasy. "OMG...this one was fantastic!" "I read this one three times! And I want to read it again." "The story was good, but the ending sucked." "Have you read this one?" I stood there for some time, trying to look like I was searching for a book to read rather than purposely listening in on their comments. It was very enlightening. Some authors they loved all of their books, others they loved one or two of their books but felt that the rest all seemed to exactly like everything else they wrote. Others they absolutely hated. They were very free with their praise and criticism.

Then they went on to discuss which book jackets they liked...and didn't like. This was particularly interesting. They pointed to ones they loved and discussed them. By that point I was doing all I could not to enter in to their conversation. Finally, after many, many jackets discussed, I piped up and said, "Sorry to interrupt, but I find it interesting that most all of the jackets you say you love don't have images of people on them." (Especially odd since it seems that so many of today's jackets show close-ups of girls' faces.) After a look of shock--whether at my intruding on their conversation or realization that they actually had ignored the faces, I don't know--one of the girls turned to me and said, "That's because the girl never looks like the girl in my head." Then the other two chimed in that they hate to have a picture of the girl on the front because it messes with the image they get by reading the book. Hmmm...I thought about this and realized that it's that very thing that makes me cringe upon seeing any of the Twilight movies. Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson look nothing like the Bella and Edward I saw as I was reading. For that reason, I just can't stomach the movies. The girls then went on to share with me some of the books WITH characters on them that they liked (Thirteen Reasons Why--which, incidentally, shows not the boy main character but the dead girl; Before I Fall--so close up that things like hair and body shape are hidden). They also liked books with just a piece of a person (such as feet or hands) but not a clear image of what the character looks like.

I found this entire conversation so interesting, and it has stayed with me. What makes you want to read a book you see on a shelf? How much does the image play into your decision? And, ultimately, does it have an effect on your reading?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rocking My PajamaJeans

OK...I wasn’t feeling real positive about these jeans after getting a look at them, but I figured I’d try them out. It’s a rainy day and I have nowhere to go, so why not?  They actually fit well in the’s the wide, boxy legs that make them look so huge...and they are very comfortable. Great for hanging around the house without risking the “camel toe” of yoga pants. I don’t think I’ll be wearing them out, but they’re great for the house or working around the yard. If the legs weren’t so wide (especially in the thighs), I think I might be able to risk a trip to the grocery store in them, but with them the way they are I don’t see that happening.

The next challenge will be to see how they wash. But for now, if you work from home like I do, they’re comfortable and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to answer the door in them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Exclamation PointDid you know today, September 24, has been named National Punctuation Day? No? Check out this link to learn all you've ever wanted to know about punctuation. There are no parades or barbecues, no moments of silence or football games to honor the marks. But there is a contest--and the winner will receive "punctuation goodies", whatever they may be. Your guess is as good as mine. You can find out the rules at the link above. And if you enter the contest, please let us know.

In case you were wondering, National Punctuation Day is the brainchild of a former newspaper editor from Pinole (near San Francisco) named Jeff Rubin. He created the honorary day in 2004 as a way to highlight the importance of the proper use of punctuation marks. How do you intend to celebrate?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They're Here!

My PajamaJeans have arrived. I opened the bag and they look kind of BIG...I’m not feeling very positive at the moment, but I’ll try them out tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grapes Into Wine

Wine is bottled poetry.
--Robert Louis Stevenson

We got up at 4am Saturday morning, dressed in work clothes, and headed for the vineyards. Davis has been making wine in our garage for the last three years but this year, for the first time, we were going to pick the grapes ourselves. We set out in the dark, not sure what to expect, and arrived at the vineyard just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

The morning was cool and the grapes plentiful. The three of us picked about 400 pounds of Zinfindel grapes in about two hours. As the sun rose higher, and with it the temperature, the bees began to wake up. Fortunately, we were about finished by that time--I'm not sure I'd want to pick with the bees so active. Overall, it was a marvelous experience...and although I complained about having to get up so early, I'd do it all over again.

When we returned home with four large containers filled with grapes (and the spiders that came along for the ride!), Davis and Cody ran the grapes through the destemmer and crusher...a very interesting process. Now the grapes are in the cold soak and will soon begin their long journey to become wine.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sometimes Momma Wonders

My son came home from school today, and with pride in his voice wanted to show me what he "learned". Granted, he is learning how to manipulate photos, work in Photoshop, and design images...but planking? Really? Sometimes you just have to smile and go with it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

PajamaJeans? Sign Me Up!

I don't watch television very often, and when I do it's usually something I have recorded on the DVR and when I finally have the opportunity to sit down and watch, I click through all the commercial breaks. My son is appalled that I have no idea what he's talking about sometimes when he quotes commercials, but so be it. I'm clueless.

Well, what a surprise it was when a commercial came on for PajamaJeans. Where have I been? I sat staring at the screen with my mouth hanging open. I think I may have found heaven. Jeans comfortable enough that you can sleep in them, but still look great enough to go out in? That's too good to be true.

First, in order to understand how excited this news made me, you need to understand where I'm coming from. I work from home. I spend the day sitting in front of my computer, curled up on the couch readinor sitting at my desk editing. I don't have to get dressed up for the office, but if I stay at my desk in pajamas all day I just don't feel productive. And, if I have to run out for some reason or, heaven forbid, someone stops by, I have to race to my closet and get dressed for company. Jeans are comfortable, and that's primarily what I wear...but after a few hours of sitting the waistband and snap start to dig into my skin (yes, I admit I have put on a few extra pounds over the years) and I begin getting antsy. I've solved this problem by wearing yoga pants...with a pair of jeans conveniently set on my bed should the doorbell ring or there be a need for a quick afternoon trip to the post office or UPS. So when I heard about these pants I was nearly drooling for a pair.

But being a skeptic, I couldn't completely trust the commercial. I went to my trusty computer and Googled PajamaJeans. After watching the nifty infomercial (the same one shown on TV), I searched for PajamaJeans reviews. There were some written reviews and even a few YouTube video reviews. Imagine that! Nearly everyone seemed to love them. Sure, there were some the dye running in the washer and ruining a load of clothes, or a rivet came off, or the husband who couldn't stand seeing his wife in them. But there were far more lovers than haters, so...I ordered a pair. Yup...I succumbed to an infomercial. Now I'm eagerly waiting for the UPS man (it didn't say how long I'd have to wait). And when they arrive, I'll tell you what I think.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friends Are Like Panties

A friend posted this on Facebook today and I thought it was hilarious--and so very true. Hope you enjoy!

Friends are like panties.... Some crawl up your butt. Some snap under pressure. Some don't have the strength to hold you up. Some get a little twisted. Some are your favorite. Some are holey. Some are cheap. Some are naughty. And some actually cover your butt when you need them to.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Facing Fifty!

Today's the day I turn fifty. For months I've been worrying about this day...would I feel any different? Would this make me officially "OLD"? Would the world miraculously make sense, or would I find myself with even more questions? Like most anticipated events that make us a little (a lot) nervous, it turned out to be uneventful. I don't feel any older, wiser, or different. Why is that?

When I was in my twenties, I couldn't wait to be thirty. Thirty would mean that I would finally be taken seriously in the world of business. I would begin to think about starting a family. I would finally be a longer a "girl". A lot did change when I hit my thirties. I became more confident in my role as both wife and editor. I became a mother, and I no longer looked at the world through my own eyes but through the eyes of my husband and son. "I" became "we".

I entered my forties with eyes wide open. Hand-in-hand with my husband and son, we'd face the world as one. We'd learn together, laugh together, and even cry together. We'd move cross country (twice!) and discover who we are and where we want to be. We'd lose parents and grandparents, and gain an understanding that life is precious and not to be taken for granted. We'd discover new sports, new interests, new places...and we'd do it together.

I spent some time today thinking back over the last fifty years, and I've come to a realization. We don't really change from decade to decade. We're the same person, inside where it counts, but we do evolve...gaining greater understanding of ourselves and our world, acknowledging the wealth of possibilities that awaits us each day, and seeking the life that suits us best.

It turns out that fifty is not any different than forty-nine, except for the experiences and wisdom that comes with each passing day. I look back at what has come before, and I step forward knowing that life is extraordinary. The journey is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy, sometimes downright wild. It's a journey filled with awe and possibility...and one worth embracing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Off to the BlogHer '11 Conference Today

Looking forward to hanging with fellow bloggers at this year's BlogHer conference being held in San Diego today. Lots of exhibitors to check out, classes to take, and socializing in the blogosphere.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Twenty-seven years ago on this day, I awoke with butterflies in my stomach. I was both excited and scared. My entire world was about to change as I walked down the aisle with my best friend. And today, oh-so-many years later, I'd do it all over again. Thank you, honey, for twenty-seven amazing years, a wonderful son, and a life I never dreamed possible. I love you!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Joys of a Rainy Day

Here in SoCal we don't get rain very often, especially in the summertime. But this morning I awoke at 6am to the sound of thunder, and then came the rain. Ahhhh... There's nothing better than waking early and listening to the rain on the roof, knowing that you don't have anywhere to be and can languish in bed as long as you wish. It's one of those simple pleasures that make you stop and enjoy the moment.

When I finally got up I went outside with the dogs and came back in to tell my hubby that it "Smells like Saratoga"...that wet, earthy smell. A little while later my son went in the backyard and came in saying, "It smells like Virginia out there." Great minds think alike...well, at least we were both thinking east coast.

Never mind that I had plans to float in the pool reading on my free Sunday...I was happy to give it up for a lazy morning reading the newspaper in jammies and drinking a hot cup of coffee while the rain came down.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Words to Live By

Every morning when I sit at my desk, I blindly draw an "affirmation" card from a box I keep next to my computer...all to set the tone for the day. This morning I pulled the following:

It does not matter what other people say or do. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.
--from "I Can Do It" cards by Louise L. Hay

Wow! Two simple sentences that say so much. We cannot control others, but we can control how we react to outside stimuli. This is something we all know but often forget in the confusion of the day. Take some time to stop and think about your mood right now. How are you feeling? Why are you feeling this way? Is there something you can do right now to put yourself in a better frame of mind? If so, do it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Looking Forward to Tomorrow's Work Day

Since I returned from Florida last week, I've been dealing with a barely functioning computer. It's amazing how much stress a piece of machinery can cause...especially when it contains years of documents, photographs, contacts, and my current calendar. Fortunately, today Chris of Computer Cabbies came and got the old computer working again, and it's as if a huge weight has been taken from my shoulders. How is it that in a few short years (yes, I remember when personal computers didn't exist...) we've come to rely on them so completely?

Now that it's working again (fingers crossed), I'm actually looking forward to getting up tomorrow morning and putting in a full day of concentrated work. I look forward to the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a job...and knowing that my computer is once again on my side.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tickling My Funny Bone

We've just returned from the North American Roller Hockey Championships in Estero, Florida, and while we were out there we took a side trip to Sanibel and Captiva islands, where we saw this button posted on the wall of The Mucky Duck restaurant on Captiva. I think it says it all.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Boy and His First Car's not a new car and it has a boatload of miles on it, but it's new for him and it is his first car. So yes, it's special...and it still brings a smile to my face every time I see this picture. Do you remember your first car? Mine was a used maroon Ford Mustang that we purchased soon after I got married. After it broke down on me numerous times, we traded it in for my first "new" car, a black Subaru sedan that I drove for about 10 years.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jumping In With Both Feet

I've been thinking about blogging for a long time now, but my fear of technology has stood in my way. I've tested the waters, so to speak, by reading everything I could get my hands on about blogging...but that didn't seem to get me any closer to establishing a blog. In fact, it kept me on the sideline even longer because I realized just how much I don't yet know about gadgets, plug-ins, analytics, design, social media marketing, affiliate programs, advertising, etc.

But today I decided that if I was going to do it I needed to jump right more testing the water by dipping in a toe. I need to start splashing in puddles, drenching myself in the blogosphere. And so, this first post...

Splashing in Sunshine will celebrate the beauty, humor, and passion of the every day...the things that make me happy and inspire me...eye candy for the creative soul...daily chuckles...inspired living...objects and events that elicit smiles and warm feelings. It's a forum for sharing the positive things in our lives and for giving us a joyful perspective when we need it. Please join me in a celebration of all that makes us happy.