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Zen Mama Wannabe » Books
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Simple Sundays

What is your favorite day of the week?  Maybe Friday, with the anticipation (or relief) of the weekend approaching?  Monday perhaps, with all its promise for a new and hopefully better week ahead?  Or Saturday, with the possibility of freedom to do as you please without being ruled by an alarm clock or schedule?  Did you favor a certain day as a child?  And if so, do you find the day(s) to be the same or different day now all these years later?

“..she loved Sundays – the way they all lingered at the table, her parents telling stories of …the funny things people said and did. …on and on they went until everyone was hungry again, sandwiching bacon between leftover biscuits and drinking down the rest of the lukewarm juice for lunch.”

– from Carry Yourself Back to Me

Sundays were like that for me growing up.  There was a routine to Sundays that I came to …

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Back in Time for a Do-Over?

If you could go back in time to one particular day and do things differently, what day would you choose to change?

A book I just read reminded me of the question my son asked me one day after school, which really had made me pause.  I was about to give him my standard answer of how I try to live my life with no regrets, but then I started thinking.  There are many things I look back on and grimace. Did I REALLY do that, say that, behave that way?  A do-over…would I take it?  Would you?

I know what you’d say,” he told me.  He was tired of waiting as this Zen Mama Wannabe revisited memories from a long time ago.  “You do??” Believe me, he actually had no idea, but I was curious to hear what he had come up with.

You’d go back to the day Grandma died.  You would

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Lunch in Paris – in another Lifetime

In another lifetime, I decide to go to Europe upon graduating from college. In another lifetime, I have kept up with my high school French and can follow (understand) a real French conversation – instead of just catching a chance word here or there.  In another lifetime, I am not the squeamish vegetarian I am today, and instead enjoy a variety of foods such as foie gras, cassoulet, and andouillette.  In another lifetime, while enjoying my exciting Parisian life, I meet a sweet, handsome Frenchman (as wonderful as my American one is today, but one who says my name in that caressing French way that makes me melt every time I hear it) who sweeps me off my feet and adores everything about me (well, almost everything – no one’s perfect – not even in this fantasy of mine).

But alas, this was not the path I chose in THIS lifetime, and although I have no regrets, …

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Playing the Numbers Game

I have played the numbers game for years.  85. 68. 72. 91.  These numbers may not mean anything to most people, but for over half my life they were a measure of my own good fortune.  I would read in the newspaper that a woman died at age 72, and up until recently my mom was still alive at 90.  Ok…deep breath…we’re doing okay.

Now my mom is gone – and I have the audacity to feel cheated.  Living to 90 is having a good long run (and my mom certainly did).  In that respect she was blessed and I am thankful.  The fallout of having a child late in life, however, is that most people MY age have parents who are currently in their 60’s.  Assuming all goes well, they are looking at having their parents around for another 20-30 years!

I feel too young to have lost both parents – cheated out of years most everyone else my …

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The Trouble with a Good Book

For over a week now I have been insanely jealous of my 9-year-old son.  At first I was supportive and excited for him.  Yet somehow envy slowly took over and I started thinking, “I want that too!”  He’s been on a streak of some sort lately, one good one after another.  And I couldn’t help but think, “When is it MY turn?”  I want to be like him and have a book so good that you just can’t put it down.  A book you could read for hours and hours and lose all track of time.  I want what he’s having – is that really asking too much?

I glanced at my bedside nightstand.  There, on the top of the stack, was a book I needed to read for the From Left to Write (Online) Book Club I am involved with.  To be honest I’m not sure it is a book I would have just picked …

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Late to the Party – Again

Two of my favoritesMy kids are not the only ones using the two-weeks off during Winter Break to stretch the structure of our normal routine. Staying up way too late, lounging around in pajamas far too long, enjoying way too many sweets and treats.  School starts back up on Monday and then we’ll be back to the daily grindstone reality.  And while I look forward to the old routine in many ways, I am savoring actually having had the time to make a dent in the stack of books piled up on my nightstand.  Two of those books in particular were outstanding….and yes, I know I’m a little late in saying it, but if by some chance you haven’t read these – you must.

The Help was called the best book of 2009.  Highly acclaimed, a NY Times Bestseller and recommended by practically every bookstore in America. I told everyone about it – just off the buzz I was hearing.  Friends would …

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The Fuss about Twilight

TwilightOk, I’m a little late to the party. How could one not notice all the Twilight hoopla – because it’s EVERYWHERE.  The books, the movie, the stars….it’s been everywhere I’ve turned.  But, up until now, I have simply just turned away.  I dismissed the Twilight series movement as a teen thing (would someone ever be so blithe about Harry Potter?? I now see the errors of my way).  But last week I broke down did it – I picked up the book at Barnes & Noble and said those 8 little words, “I wonder what all the fuss is about.”  Then, I went one step further: I bought it and brought it home to read.  May I just say my life hasn’t been the same since!

I had no idea what to expect, other than something about vampires.  I know vampires are hip – the “in” thing – but I am so not a vampire type person.  Probably …

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Books to Shake Off that June Gloom

If you are looking for some fun summer reading (Chick Lit type stuff – sorry guys) I have two recommendations for you right off the bat.  Both have been out for a couple years – the good news being they are in paperback now (that’s right – no excuse for you not to get a copy if by chance you haven’t read them).  So if you haven’t yet had the pleasure and you like this genre of books (and I do hate how some people turn up their noses at the mere thought, as if the term “Chick Lit” is so offensive – call it Light Summer Reading if it makes you feel better) then these are a couple you don’t want to miss. 

They are easy-to-read, entertaining stories that pull you along all the way through – perfect for an afternoon stretched out in the sun (does anyone with kids do that anymore??) or for one …

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