Outside of a dog a book is man’s best.

Since adding the 10 on 10 aspect to this blog, I have really started to look forward to the 10th of each month.  Its a chance to just give without a reason or giving myself grief about “can I afford to do this?”, “is there a better way to spend this cash”… nope.  Budgeted & its not my money – its to be shared.  More than that its a chance to support in efforts I care about or are inspired by.

This month I am certainly inspired.

Having just finished a book within a couple of days, I am officially bitten by the reading bug.  Started book number 3 of 2012 – still another non-fiction one that is slowly being read, but another fiction work has sucked me in.  I know reading on the treadmill isn’t going to win any races, but it certainly made that 30 minutes fly faster than ever!

I am so grateful for being able to read.

Its a gift that my parents gave to me early in life.  Teachers who knew that by learning to read, you give keys to life.  So many lessons and secrets that would never be discovered otherwise are found within the pages bound in each cover.  Knowledge, guidance, confirmation and reminders.  Even a space to get away from life..  all discovered in books.  The library was a place where we were very familiar, even before the days where my Dad retired from teaching to work there.  New books were always coming into our house.  So many nights spent together reading “just one more story” before we were tucked in & lights out.

evidently my sister was really excited to hear about the Baskin Robbins adventures

Historically, (WAY back when) I know it was something taught to boys, not girls – since it was more for business and government which was not for the fairer sex.  Now I am lucky enough to live in an era where barely anything is off limits for me as a girl.  I can explore the world equally.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  ~Sir Richard Steele

Part of me still struggles with reading electronically, but it works.  It is easy & I guess eco-friendly.  But there is a magic beauty to be found in turning a page to find written words there for you to see.

So this month, I want to share the gift.

I want to help others to read.

There is nothing that will ever give me a glimpse into what the world is like for someone who is illiterate, but I know from work that there are adults locally who simply do not have the skill.  It breaks my heart & I have to wonder what life they have had to endure to reach adulthood without anyone being there who was able to connect in a way that they learned.

“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” ~Mortimer J. Adler

So my gift this month is to the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

This group works hard to enable local residents to learn to read.  They work with those who are just learning to read and people who are learning to understand English.  They offer a place for everyone to grow in their learning.

What better gift to give right now?

Even when reality seems hard to face, a vacation from the day can be found in a book.

So thank you Mom & Dad.  You have enabled me to go further than you can imagine by taking the time to share with me this love of reading.  I know it probably wasn’t a quick or easy task, but I truly am grateful.

Pulling back the veil

Wild weekend!

But in a good way.  Dashed off to the parents & got to catch up with an aunt that I hadn’t seen in about a year.  Also got to see the almost finished house my sister & brother in law are beyond ready to get back into.  Its so strange to see a place from childhood changed so drastically.  It previously was my grandparents, but now it is uniquely their own place.  Hoping that all the details being them the joy they deserve.  It makes me smile seeing it all come from vision to reality.  They might be ready to scream & wish they hadn’t started the whole process, but its going to be worth it in the end.

The bathroom alone is enough to make me want to move in with them.  But visiting will be nice too!  If they ever get it all finished & get to finally move back in.

I’m struggling to fight the urge to start dreaming up how to make my house more my own.  Giving up on the dream of moving anytime soon.  So much going on, it just doesn’t seem realistic.  Since its just me, it doesn’t really matter.  I hate this place & probably always will.  The neighborhood, the layout & the memories aren’t changing anytime soon.  Hoping my attitude towards them will.  Til then, I do my time.

And dream a bit.

and escape as often as I can.

this weekend it was into a beautiful world filled with magic and fantasy.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of the Grimoire Chronicles: the Veil Between Worlds by Sally Dubats.  For years I have been a big fan of her Natural Magick: The Essential Witch’s Grimoire.  Its a great reference and go to book.  The simple format is easy for a quick read or refresher as needed.  Admittedly, as much as I have loved Natural Magick & enjoyed getting to know her on Twitter, I had to wonder what kind of Young Adult fiction she had made.  Part of me didn’t want to read the book and risk losing respect some how.  Boy was that stupid!  The book is phenomenal!

Forget Twilight.  I don’t need vampires or werewolves,  I want to meet the beings that Sally brings to life in the world of Cassie!  At first I wanted to move in with Aunt Faye myself.  The words brought an image of my ideal house to life and reading the descriptions of the food she made just made me drool.  (I think there should be a cookbook with some of her recipes!) Everyone needs an Aunt Faye in their life.  Hoping if I ever need one, she will appear ready to provide unconditional support, guidance and love.

Don’t want to give the story away, but I will say it NEEDS to be made into a movie.  Hoping that I am one of the few who are reading less over the years, but I am afraid I’m not alone.  The story in my mind was exciting and easy to envision.  Why not make it on the big screen?

True to her roots, Sally brings in elements of witchcraft that give the readers insights into the world of witches, real ones.  Sure there is a lot of things that are fantasy in the book, but the descriptions of the beliefs, tools and ways are respectful and honest.  This is a great read for those unfamiliar and those who have been practicing for years. Its not just a book for witches.  The story is enticing and entertaining for all, but I have to appreciate the approach given to the ways of the craft.  Hoping it assists a few understand what the religion is truly about and that it is nothing to be feared or be ashamed of.  Her experience and knowledge that made her non-fiction book so great, assist in setting the scene for this novel.  Also love the mythological references tossed in along with poking fun at a few popular paranormal themes.  Honestly I want to discuss a few aspects, but I’d rather not ruin any of the plot or spoil the fun of watching it unfold.

This novel was truly inspiring.  One of those things where you are delighted to find that you loose a couple of hours in without realizing it.   I’m thankful it is a series since I didn’t want the paragraphs to end, but I’m dreading the wait in between books!  I’m ready to rejoin Cassie & the other characters to see what happens next.  Hopefully the wait won’t be too long.

So thankful that I was gifted the book at just the right time.  Within a couple of days I finished the entire thing.  Just like I used to do when I read often!  I’m going to take it as a sign that this year is off to a great start and I will end the year with many more stories read instead of just viewed on a screen.

So the reading goal is going good.

What about all the others?

General goals for the coming year & next few months…

  • Purge 100 things from my world within the first 2 days of 2012
  • 100 Days challenge – 100 days straight of intentional moving 30 minutes each day - what a total pain in the ass.  But its happening. Thought I was going to skip a day last night getting home so late, but I did 30 minutes of the Wii Fit, which counts.  Got to find the fun in this sooner or later.
  • 10 on 10 – give $10 to a non-profit each month on the 10th – tomorrow is the first one this year & I can’t wait.
  • Read more! - Finished the first book of the year!
  • Budget each month prior to the month & stick with it - watching every penny & tracking where it all goes.

As for the more traditional resolutions:

  • Try one new thing each week – this past week I actually READ my credit report.  Actually was surprised that I was much harder on myself than it appears that the 3 agencies are.  Knowledge is power!
  • Cook something each week – Made Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken this week.
  • Take one photo I love each week – 
  • Continue my love affair with Post Crossing sent out a couple more & looking forward to some arriving soon.
  • Floss daily – good so far
  • Meditate more – at least weekly – just 20 minutes, but done
  • Daily food picture -  366 dishes – I missed catching a picture on Saturday, but its a habit.  And yes an eye opener.
  • Spend an hour with someone else outside of work each week – caught up with a friend.