Saturday, December 18, 2010

Musing and Meandering on a Saturday Morning

I haven't done one of these Saturday morning rambles in awhile, and I've kinda missed doing them.  But you know, life just gets busy, doesn't it?!  Time for me to just sit back, take a few deep breaths and say a little "thank you" for the good stuff.  It's so easy to dwell on the bad stuff and sometimes overlook the things we're thankful for. 

This has been one of those weeks of weather we tend to have here in these North Carolina mountains.  Those who aren't familiar with the region hear "North Carolina," and think "Southern."  Which is true, of course,, but the area we live in is a whole different ball game than just 4 hours away in the Piedmont area of the state.  This week Appalachian State University was closed Monday due to blizzard conditions, and closed half a day Tuesday.  We made it in to work on Wednesday, but then we were stuck home on Thursday due to ice.  Made it to work on Friday.  We've still got a lot of ice in our driveway, but the roads are much better and the temperatures have actually creeped up above freezing - at least during the day.

It's different in other ways, also.  I've learned since being here that "Mountain Culture" and "Southern Culture" are two entirely different things.  A blog for another day, methinks.

Snow days can be fun, but they can be a bit stressful too - especially when you know you've got work to do on your desk in town 12 miles away.

But.  That's when it's time to put things in perspective.  It's a job, and a job we're damn glad we have during this time of economic crisis.  But, on the other hand - how much good are we to our employers, our families and ourselves if something happens to us while we're trying to fight Mother Nature to get to work?   This is when good ol' common sense is a lovely thing to have.  (it's surprising to me how many people out there seem not to be in possession of common sense.  It has served me well during my life; how 'bout you?).

One of the things I've done a lot of this week is read (surprise!).  And some of that reading has included some of my favorite blogs.  A few that I've especially enjoyed this week are Alex Sokoloff's piece at today's Murderati about traveling.  I love Alex, and I admire her.  The woman is smart, funny, talented, gorgeous and brave.  What's not to admire?!

I always love reading The Lipstick Chronicles.  Always.  I enjoy every one of the women who make it one of the best spots to hang out on the web.  And the community of regulars they've built up is pretty amazing.  Being one of those who is a child of the 60s, I was especially taken with a guest post written by Libby Fischer Hellmann entitled "Forty Years Later."  If you enjoy this piece, you'll probably love her newest book, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE.

And oooooh, Liz Zelvin - what can I say.  She perfectly summed up exactly how I feel about cell phones in a piece at Poe's Deadly Daughters.  Cellphonismo.  Perfect!  I'm a true techie - love my iPad entirely too much, but I'm one of those who thinks cell phones are Satan in a Shell.  And if one more person bumps their cart into me while doing their grocery shopping and attempting to carry on a conversation over their cell phone, I'm just not going to even try to restrain myself.  I have many, many cell phone rudeness stories - a whole blog's worth.  (Another day).  In the meantime, my friend Liz has summed it up nicely.  Poe's Deadly Daughters is another place I hang out practically every day.  It's comprised of a group of women who are all excellent writers, many of whom I'm proud to call friends.

Speaking of friends.  Jen Forbus is a very special woman.  She's very special to me, and she is very special to a lot of people in the mystery community.  She keeps coming up with the most brilliant projects for her Jen's Book Thoughts, it's just mind boggling.  I have no idea how she does it, but I hope she'll continue doing all she does for a long, long time to come.  The latest is her "2010 Crime Writers Caught Recommending Crime for the Holidays" series.

And, if you're intent on really adding to your TBR stack, or if you're looking for a book gift for the holidays, I recommend checking out Lesa Holstine's Lesa's Book Critiques.  I was tickled pink to see her top pick for her column, "A Few of My Favorite Things," is  Beth Hoffman's "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt," which happens to be one of my favorites also.  (Thanks to Lesa's recommendation as soon as she discovered it).

And there's the always excellent and informative and fun Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine.  I don't just check his column every day - I check it several times a day.

Need a perfect recipe?  Of course you do!  And you'll find great ones at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen.  Another group of pretty terrific mystery writers, who also happen to enjoy some time in the kitchen. (it must be the "southern" thing, but I seem to share a lot of the same favorites with  Elizabeth Spann Craig !).

Want more recipes?  Especially chocolate?!  mmmm - yum.  Don't miss Janet Rudolph's Dying for Chocolate.

Thanks to Mason Canyon's Thoughts in Progress, I've discovered a new to me writer.  Carolyn Brown.  I've been reading her Honky Tonk series.  I won all four books in the series at Mason's blog and I am loving them!  I've always been partial to cowboys . . .

A couple of my favorite blogs not only include columns I always enjoy, but some pretty wonderful photography.  If you're not already familiar with Vicki Lane's Mysteries blog (or her wonderful Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian mystery series!), I encourage you to check her out.  Along with my friend Jill, who lives up the road.  Jill does wonderful photo essays at her not to be missed Jill's Life blog  featuring life at her place with 3 dogs, a cat, 3 horses and 3 mini-mules.  AND some views that will make your heart sing.   And every once in awhile she shares a peek at one of her paintings - which are just plain and simply breathtaking.

Enjoy, peeps!

Take a breather from the hectic pace of the holidays and treat yourself to some treats around the interwebs.
Grab a cup of coffee, a nice warm pastry, your quiltie, and settle in. Life is good.

Holiday Hugs from our house to yours!


mybillcrider said...

So you're the one who reads my blog. I knew somebody must be taking a look. Thanks for the plug, Kaye!

Vicki Lane said...

And holiday hugs to you, Kaye! Yep, the blog thing is pretty wonderful -- always somewhere neat to visit -- including your own excellent M&M!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Thanks so much for the mention, Kaye! You and I have the same recipes, I think! :) And matching corgis, too!

Mason Canyon said...

Thanks so much for the mention. I always enjoy stopping by here, even if I don't say hello. I'm glad you're enjoying Carolyn's books. To me, it's a charming series kind of like visiting with old friends. Your weather has been much worse than ours. We had ice Wednesday night, but thankfully it was all gone by Thursday. But for some reason these cold temperatures won't go away. LOL Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thoughts in Progress

Darla said...

Kaye, all these recommendations are great but overwhelming! LOL I've picked one for now - Murderati - to explore. If I pick any more I'll never have time for writing or, well, living away from the computer screen! :-)

Lesa said...


I'm so glad you emailed me. I haven't had much time to read blogs lately, with my mom here, but you picked some of my favorites. And, I have Libby's book, and want to read it after Mom leaves, so I want to read that blog. Thanks for mentioning it.

Hugs, and thank you for your thoughts. (And, showed Mom Harley's pictures because he's so cute!)

Jen Forbus said...

You are a gem, Ms. Kaye. I love you dearly, ma'am! Hope this next week is better than last and that 2011 brings you many, many blessings! You deserve them. Hugs!!

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Thanks, Kaye, for mention Mystery Lovers Kitchen. How lovely of you. Say cheese!

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Neat blog. I enjoyed meandering through your thoughts, put on 'paper.' Great blogs mentioned. I haven't had a chance to visit them regularly lately, since I've been involved in my latest book launch, but I'm slowing down a little now and hope to rekindle my regular stops! Sylvia Dickey Smith

danielle-momo said...

Thank you Kaye for the list.
I added many blogs to my bookmarks.
I like blogs related to writing and reading, especially yours.