A Few of My Favorite Things in 2014

2014-01-03 20.22.23-2Happy New Year!

Every New Year, I like to recap one thing I’m proud of that happened over the past year.

On New Years Day in January, 2014, I made a bucket list item come true. I went to France  and Italy alone and made memories, some of which were transformational.

Then I came home and wrote about them, and my essay got published in A Girls’ Guide to Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson, which instantly became a Kindle bestseller in the UK! And through that book, I made more lovely connections with other contributors that were equally transformational.

Yes, 2014 was punctuated by many deaths of family and friends and professional challenges. It was also a year of home renovations, and the year I turned 50! But what I love so much are the connections- old and new- that have been solidified.

My 50th Birthday party!
My 50th Birthday party!

Those, and some awesome books I read.

My four top favorite books I read in 2014  were:

1) Swimming with Maya by Eleanor Vincent

2) The Removers by Andrew Meredith (no relation, but I wish!)

3) A Girl’s Guide to Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson

4) My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger

Truth be told, if someone would have told me in 1990 when I was filing for a restraining order and signing up for food stamps, or in 1995, when I went on my first solo trip overseas to find my kidnapped daughters, that my life would ever be this rich with family, friends, work, and adventures, I would have told them they were hallucinating.

It’s been a far from perfect life,  but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What did you accomplish or live through in 2014 that  you want to remember? And have you read any great books lately?

Thanks always for stopping by!

Swimming with Maya/Licking the Spoon/The End of Eve-These are a few of my favorite reads

What are you reading this season?

2012-07-29-10.04.00-2-1I feel like I’m on a winning streak lately. May brought free cable (thanks to my kid’s job at the utility company), new romance, and two new kittens.

Even so, one of the best parts of any good season for me is enjoying a good book or two (or three).

These are a few of my favorite reads.

SWIMMING WITH MAYA- A Mother’s Story by Eleanor Vincent

A grieving mother finds hope and healing as she donates her daughter’s organs. The author has a gift for slowly recounting scenes until you feel as if you too were there. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard.

LICKING THE SPOON by Candace Walsh Part memoir and part cookbook, I loved meeting the author at a conference a year ago.


 “If I’m ever a burden, I’ll just blow my brains out.” Famous last  words from author Ariel Gore’s ailing mother, whose complicated life with her daughter morphed into a complicated death for her daughter.

 Life is better with a book to idle with. What are you reading?