Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Tax season has totally consumed every fiber of my being.  I haven't done much reading, writing or blogging since it began.  This year things are winding down slowly however.  I'm hoping the quick thud that in years past dropped me into a pool of uncertainty on April 16th, wondering what to do next with my life, won't materialize.  Every April 15th I get fired from a job I love, and yanked away from good friends and teammates. It's not that I don't have things to do.  I really don't like getting fired.  In all my working years I'd never been fired.  Laid off, yes.  Fired no. Now it happens once a year.  Like clockwork.

At the end of each tax season, I vow to do my spring cleaning.  My office gets a good scrubbing. Dust, crumbs and scraps of paper from hastily scribbled notes pile up in 4 months time.   I also make my way through the closets, drawers and cupboards.  Yesterday I decided to start my chores by straightening out the bathroom vanity.

In one big sweep I pushed everything out of the bottom of the vanity onto the floor, vacuumed out the crumbs and wiped it clean.  Then I proceeded to look at each item before deciding if it should return to its place of shelter or head for the garbage dump.  Two large bottles of hand lotion headed back in.  I cleaned out my ears with an errant Qtip.  Three bottles of perfume I love, but rarely wear, were saved.  I gave myself a little spritz.   Next, I came across a packet of soothing mud masque, opened it and slathered it all over my face.  I love the feeling of a masque drying on my face.  I dug some teeth whitening strips out of the pile.  One upper, one lower went in my mouth.  I opened a bottle of soothing peppermint foot lotion, generously rubbing it on my feet before realizing I desperately needed a pedicure. A few more items were saved and many more went into the trash can.

"Linda, where are you?"  I heard Richard calling me.

"In the bathroom," I yelled back.

I turned to look up at him standing in the doorway.  His eyes got big, he shuffled his feet and began to sing.

"Mammy, how I love ya, how I love ya.  My dear ole, Mammy."

I fell back onto my pile of beauty products, laughing.

Today my face is as soft as a baby's bottom, my smile is brighter  and I smell like fresh flowers.  And my best friend is right here ready to make me laugh at a moments notice.  Maybe  getting fired is not so bad after all.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Still Points North by Leigh Newman

Still Points North by Leigh Newman

I've been reading alot of memoirs lately.  I'm studying the genre in hopes of writing my own memoir someday.  A story about a girl growing up in Alaska peaked my interest. 

Leigh Newman is a child growing up in Alaska, fishing for salmon with her father, in their secret spots only accessible in his float plane.  A milestone for a kid in Alaska is catching her first king, a momentous occasion.  But when her parents divorce and she has to spend her time between Anchorage where all is familiar and Baltimore where all is a mystery.  Leigh struggles to fit in. 

I loved the first part of this book told through the eyes of a little girl. Quite abruptly the story moved into adulthood, falling in love, getting married.  Yes, all those things happen in a girl's life.  The telling of the story however, suffered.  To me it was as if a different writer stepped in to finish.  I felt the story lacked direction.  By the end of the book, I was left wondering what was the thread that was supposed to hold it all together.

Many things drew me to this story, Alaska, memoirs, the title.  The author has a strong voice and a very easy writing style.  But at the end I was left wondering what still pointed north.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...