Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Reads

I recently discovered Good Reads through a friend and I love it. It's a readers haven.


A readers bliss.

Not only am I a compulsive reader, I'm OCD about keeping track of what I read. It's like a golfers score card. I set my par at the beginning of the year and laboriously keep track of my books. Then I read and think over my list occasionally. In the shower I may think about Seth Godin's "Poke The Box" and evaluate how I am applying it when I don't want to write my newsletter. When I'm wallking my dog up on my mountain Pressfield's "War of Art" reminds me that just because I don't FEEL my muse right now, she's still there.

Revisiting books I've read countless times is like hearing from old friends and I remember them while I'm planting rows of garlic. My paperback dog-eard, margin-scribbled, marker-colored copy of Tony Robbins "Unlimited Power" and Gabaldon's pristine don't-bend-the binder-I'm-buying-a-signed-copy-when-I-win-the-lottery "Outlander" are two of my all-time favs.

This morning when I fed the chickens I thought about Sarah Addison Allen's brand new "The Peach Keepers" and made a note to download it into Kindle. Her magical, whimisical characters will be just the thing when I can't sleep at 2 a.m.!

Good Reads is a grown-up, computerized cyber version of my yearly book list. Forget about a page in my planner; now I have all sorts of book lists--read, to read, to buy, whatever-- and can pull up the cover, description, reviews, author bios & interviews, suggestions all at the stroke of a key.

Book nirvana.

Give it a try. Loose yourself for a few minutes. Take a break. You know you want to.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hwilc is Hwilc?

We have a standing joke in our family. My husband is brilliant. (That's not the joke). He's an engineer by trade and training; a farmer by will. There is nothing, nothing he cannot design and build. Yet, he cannot spell. No, I mean it. He cannot spell. I cannot see how to assemble and install a speaker component system. He cannot see how to spell continent. It's a trade off. Which brings me back to hwilc is hwilc...which is which. Which is one of our oldest words and has migrated through 64 spellings. To our 8th century progenitors hwilc won the spelling bee. Is it any wonder that brilliant folks like my sweetie cannot spell. Have you ever pondered the rules of spelling? (I think about words a lot!) There may as well not be any rules considering all the exceptions to the rule. The conundrum is this: hwilc person in my family consistently wins at Scrabble? You guessed it. My husband. It's one of the great mysteries of life. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Go Ahead: Revery

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
- Emily Dickinson (© The Trustees of Amherst College)

Revery: absentminded dreaming while awake; preoccupation with something to the exclusion of all else

Have we lost the ability to daydream? I've often thought Americans are so bent on getting ahead that we have devalued down time and now I can prove it. I intended on using this little gem of a poem by Emily Dickinson on my farm blog ( because of the clover and bees since I have both in abundance. When I typed in the poem, the word "revery" shouted up at me in bold, red letters. (Was that Bill Gates idea?) And, we all know what those red letters mean. When I clicked on it, Bill gave me a list of words: "Revelry, reverie, revere, revert". Even "every". But, no revery. Revery has been obliterated from the dictionary! But, wait a minute. Revery has not been obliterated, just changed. The powers that be changed the spelling to "reverie"; sorry Emily. Still, I think it is indicative of our opinion of daydreaming. We put it in the category of teeth grinding and snoring: "hey you, STOP IT"! Personally, I take great stock in "revery" and do it with great frequency. Especially when I'm up to my elbows in clover. I think you're on to something, Emily.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Books

All done with Stieg and, as usually happens when I "power read" three novels in a row, I am SO ready for non-fiction. I found two that look interesting. One I already had on Ellis Bell (my Kindle): Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen M.D. It's all about brain imaging--using an old technology with new applications: SPECT. Dr. Amen discovered how the brain is working when we concentrate on various things thus concluding that what was once thought of as merely behavioral issues (obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety problems, depression, aggression, even violence) are in fact brain function problems and can be "fixed". Even if you have no interest in behavioral disorders, it's fun to read about what part of your brain "lights up" when doing specific tasks.

The second book is "Poke The Box" by Seth Godin. OMGSH, I love this one. It's a procrastinators start button. It's informative and motivating. If you need a kick to get off your behind and get going, this book is for you. Personally, when I get motivated I feel a little spark begin in my chest and spread throughout my body like warm honey; this book does that to me.

I made a monumental discovery this week. Since moving to the farm, Ellis Bell will not connect to "WhisperNet", that mysterious beam of energy that puts me in the Amazon Store. So, I took Ellis with me on my daily jaunt up the hill; wha-la, instant plug-in. I had such a good time reading the Kindle blurbs of books and browsing in the cyber store and, yes, purchasing a couple.
As always, I'm putting Poke the Box and Brain on my instant Amazon connect on this blog, so just give it a click to read all about them.

I love useless trivia, so today I leave you with this: it takes 3000 cows to supply one season's worth of footballs to the National Football League. I wonder what part of my brain is shining? Life is Good.