19 February 2009

Marley & Me

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have such a hard time reading non-fiction. One of my hopes this year is to read more non-fiction, this book was my first attempt. I kept putting off starting this book, finally starting it last sunday because it was due at the library wednesday....I was immediately hooked, reading almost half of it within 24 hours of starting. I did finish it on Wednesday before returning it to the library. I loved this book and the memories it brought to my mind about the dogs in my life...the ups and downs in this book really hit home with pretty much anyone who has ever had a dog in their family. I really liked the way he intertwined their personal lives with everything about Marley...this is reality. Anyone who has had a family pet knows that the pet is a member of the family and most everything that effects one member of the family touches all other members of the family! Marleys antics had me laughing and trying to not to be grossed out. I am very excited to now see the movie, but am prepared to be fully grossed out. This book has me torn even more over having a dog of our own (if ever we live someplace that we can actually have pets). For me, it is all about the companionship BUT I don't want the work that goes along with having a dog. Not to mention that I do tend to gross out easily and that characteristic doesn't bode well with having a dog. So, for now, I will live vicariously through this book and my friends and family that have their own pets!

Now for the quotes:

pg 13: "I was a mutt of indistinct and undistinguished ancestry. My lineage represented more nations than the European Union." boy this statement sounds a bit familiar in even my own genealogy

pg 166: "Our new neighborhood was in one of the few middle-class sections in the city, and its residents liked to joke with a certain reverse snobbery that they were on the wrong side of both sets of tracks. Sure enough, there were two sets of railroad tracks,one defining the eastern boundary of the neighborhood and one the western. At night you could lie in bed and listen to the freight trains moving through on their way to and from Miami." this one is for my hubby, but no, dear, I'm not saying I want to live in florida, too humid, but yes, this would be a good ideal neighborhood for us, huh?!

pg 189-190: "...maybe he held the secret for a good life. Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness. If you think you're still a young pup, then maybe you are, no matter what the calendar says. Not a bad philosophy for life..." this statement was made on the authors 40th birthday as he realized that in dog years Marley was just over 40 himself. I think this IS a good philosophy for life, after all, AGE IS A STATE OF MIND!

pg 260: "We take it for granted, but it is fragile, precarious, uncertain, able to cease at any instant without notice. I was reminded of what should be obvious but too often is not, that each day, each hour and minute, is worth cherishing." This is a thought the author had while standing in the area where United flight 93 went down in PA on 9/11. I think we would ALL do good to remember this and truly cherish every moment!

pg 287: "Marley had given us a gift, at once priceless and free. He taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most of the other pieces fall into place." Very good way to sum up the book and the experience of having a family pet, imo. Life really can be this simple!

pg 301: "What advice to you have for writers? Take the civil service exam and hope for a job at the post office. No, no, no. Keep a journal and write every day, even when it seems impossible. Read really good writers, and reread the best parts aloud. Write about what you know and care about. Believe in yourself and your voice. And here's what I consider the most important part: Take your finished piece and cut it by 20 percent. Relax, you can always restore the lost text later if it seems just too amazing to deprive the world of. You'll be surprised how seldom you will feel the need. In my own work, tighter is almost always better." As someone who hopes to be a writer at some point in time, I thought this question/answer was something to definitely think about....and, dear husband of mine who happens to now work for the post office, this doesn't mean that YOU, too, can't be a writer, someday!

16 February 2009

Sammy's & Heart day...

No, I'm not going to get into the restaurant review business...although, hmmm...it could mean lots of good food...ok, no, I'm not gonna go there....BUT...going with the ITEX theme this weekend....

For Valentine's Day, Steve and I used an ITEX voucher to stay at the La Quinta near UVU on Sunday night. We got to the hotel early and stayed in our room. Steve enjoyed the on the wall HDTV (his choice, NASCAR) while I started yet another book, Marley & Me (review to come very soon)...We ordered Pizza and Chocolate Dunkers within hours of our arrival, this served as dinner and dessert for the night. We had prepared ahead and brought drinks to keep in the in-room fridge. Later in the evening we watched Hancock on our portable DVD player. This movie was ok, it was a bit confusing but easy enough to follow that it was just ok, imo. After this, I went back to my book and he watched more tv, for awhile....overall, a good time had by all during this stay at La Quinta. If you have never stayed at LQ, I highly recommend it. They have nice rooms with a great breakfast included. We have been staying at LQs for over 6 years and have yet to have a really bad experience! Ok, after leaving the hotel, I was not ready to come home, so I suggested going to Sammy's, since I had my trusty ITEX certs with me...in the hopes that it was open today...it was...

Steve got the Chicken Cordon Blue and a chocolate shake. I got the custom breaded chicken with some additions along with the "add it up..." by getting a peanut butter cup shake and seasoned fries. While we waited for our food, we viewed the wall of photos and next visit plan on getting one of us put up with the caption "gone BATTY for Sammy's!", ok, this is my idea, we'll see if it actually happens! We got our food to go and went to park for a time of train watching, which unfortunately was extra slow today....

REVIEW: (Even though I have met who I assume to be "Sammy", he has no idea that I finally made it into Sammy's nor that I'm writing this review) We both really enjoyed our food. We shared the seasoned fries which were just perfectly seasoned, enough to taste good without being too seasoned...yes, it is possible to be over seasoned! The shakes were both very good. The sandwiches were very very good!!! The value for our money, overall, was very good, as well. I would highly recommend this to any and everyone! When we walked in there was a missionary couple and a family eating at the counter, while we were there, a young couple came in as well as a couple sets of friends. Sammy's appeals to all ages and lifestyles. Makes for a great date night to pick up your food and enjoy someplace you both love to be....there isn't a plethora of seating inside, but the food greatly makes up for this. Go, enjoy and share your thoughts.....located at 27 N 100 W in Provo....so, Sam, great job, keep it up and continued great business to you!!! (final note, check out their blog, now listed under my links)

13 February 2009

Sweets Island Restaurant

Many of you know, I used to work for a company called ITEX. That whole experience is another blog altogether, that may or may not ever appear on this blog....but from that experience, I have learned about a few businesses out there, that I like, this is one of them....

Sweet's Island Restaurant located at 711 Columbia Ln in Provo, Utah...this is right behind the big DI, near Utah Valley Regional Hospital....

Today, we happened to be in the area around lunch time and I happened to have some ITEX certificates with me, so my mom and I decided to give it a try....and it was good! We happened to be the only customers in there at the time and we quite enjoyed the atmosphere and background music....

My mom had the combo #10 with pork and chicken. I had #14 with pork, chicken and beef. It was delicious. My main reason for posting this as a blog, though is because they are having a luau saturday night for valentines day....we found out this is an annual thing. The cost is $15, includes live entertainment and a buffet and loads of fun. As we finished eating and were leaving, I thought I would be very nice to them and spread the word...so, if you get to reading this before valentines night and are looking for a great way to celebrate the day, there ya go!!! If you don't get to it until after, well, still go there and enjoy! Oh, and I do have some ITEX certificates, if you are interested....let me know!

05 February 2009

Emmy ... BY Lynne Jonell

Several months back we were visiting at my sister in laws house, I believe for a birthday party...anyway, I noticed this book and found out that my young nephew had chosen it because the pages create a flip show of sorts. I decided it looked cute, so I got it, read it and really enjoyed it. I think it is very imaginative. Lynne Jonell has created a world where although it seems like something of a child's imagination or dream, you can be drawn in and start to believe that there is a real "Rodent City" right in your own neighborhood! Takes me back to the days of "The Littles", which I absolutely loved! This first book is the story of Emmy, her nanny Miss Barmy and Raston, Emmy's class pet! Emmy, a typical girl who feels left out and ignored by her classmates finds an eventual friendship with Raston and together they battle Miss Barmey, the nanny. This story was so cute, I just had to read the follow up book, Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls... Only one quote from this book: pg 6: "You're too nice," said the Rat sharply. "A little meanness is good for the soul. I highly recommend it." (A recommendation I have to wonder if was meant for me!!!)

This is the follow up story to Emmy and The Incredibly Shrinking Rat. I will keep it short so I don't spoil much of anything for those reading the first book. In this one we have returning characters, Emmy, Raston, Miss Barmy among others. We also have new characters like Meg that play an important role in the storyline. For those reading the first one, I will leave this review with this one question: Will Emmy end up at the Home for Troubled Girls anyway OR will Miss Barmy win in another way?! Yes, Miss Barmy is still up to her nasty tricks in yet another very imaginative story about doing what's right and helping those we love most! Again, only one quote: pg 130: "Hang in there." ... "What does that mean?" ... "Well, you know, keep doing what you're doing. Don't give up, even when you're discouraged. Believe that things are going to get better soooo---" (I agree with this, in that, when you have a goal or are discouraged by lifes natural course, keep going, keep the FAITH, keep doing what you're doing and things WILL get better!)

02 February 2009

fortune telling?

I don't put much stock in reading my horoscope, but on the rare occasion that I do, it surprises me how often it has something to do with what is going on in my life. Some of the things we look forward to accomplishing this year are a total money makeover, starting my Family History business and getting more organized...so, at the first of the year when I came across the following "overview" and received the fortune cookies below that....leaving me to wonder how things will REALLY turn out, any thoughts? he he....

Year 2009 Overview (astrology - zodiac)
Pioneering and courageous Aries is being called to times of incredible new growth and renewal. The considerable reflective time you have spent rehashing and deciding which avenue will best serve your highest purpose has shaken you to the very root of your personal belief systems. Through surrendering to your higher self, new realizations and golden opportunities you never thought possible are brilliantly opening up for you. Your new commitment to self has given you a renewed appreciation of the your divine wisdom and accomplishments. The understanding you have radiates love and compassion, and is attracting your highest good. As your creative spirit soars, the excitement you feel helps you submit to the larger purpose and vision gained in your dreamtime. You are easily able to bring your work out into the world with clarity and purpose. Your heart's desires are quickly manifesting right before your eyes and you are able to reap long-standing benefits as you detach from the past and are catapulted forward. Because of your humanitarian ideals and desire to be a helper in our emerging world, be careful not to fall into old patterns of helping others fulfill their needs rather than taking care of your own. As you grow, people are drawn to your altruistic ideas and your visionary and compassionate personality.
In spite of your good endurance and concentration, remember to take care of yourself on an everyday basis to maintain wholeness and integration. Finding a good physical outlet for your frustrations is important so that you don't deplete your energy and prevent yourself from getting what you really want. Enjoyment is the fundamental desire of your life, and you are able to create the life you enjoy.

steve: happy events will take place in your home
steve: you will travel far and wide
becky: prepare yourself for a change of events in your personal life
becky: a sudden change in plans will lead to good fortune
becky: your troubles will cease and fortune will smile upon you
becky: everything will now come your way