Category Archives: Books

Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon

Nubius Organics want to raise awareness of environmental issues, and offer eco-friendly solutions where possible especially in the minds of young children. This is why they offer a fantastic collection of imaginative books just for that purpose. Explore. Imagine. Create & Give Back. That’s what Barefoot Books is all about.

Whether you open a book to read about a vegetarian dragon who is captured and faces the decision of having to eat meat to save his life and Meathook The Meat-Eater who thinks that Herb is a misfit because he won’t eat meat. (Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon – Written By: Jules Bass)

Or perhaps you will decide to embrace the healthy art of yoga with your child by delving into the Barefoot Books – Yoga Pretzels where you will be able to try out 50 Fun Yoga Activities! Something like this would be fun for both kids and parents to do together. Or perhaps something for a Mommy & Me group to consider using at one of their gatherings.

You’ll be able to save 15% Now through January 26th with Coupon Code KIDS15 at Nubius Organics! (one use per customer)

If someone has a special day coming up, just Send a Nubius Organics Gift Certificate & let them do the Shopping.

Resolving to organize your spaces

For the new year many people choose to come up with resolutions for themselves. They decide on things they wish to change for the new year or things they wish to improve. I think the New Year’s resolution I hear most often is the one to stay fit or lose weight. I also believe that is the one people give up on by the end of January. So while I do intend to become more fit this year, I’m going to try and stay more organized as my main goal. I think this is a more conceivable resolution for me and I’ll be satisfied with the results in the end, as will my family. Right?

First is first, you can search around online for ideas, watch HGTV or grab some books to help you mentally prepare for the task of getting yourself and your items together. Here is a link to The Top Books on Organizing Space.

In your child’s space there are a million and a half ways to keep things organized. You’ll want to think about tiers, because there are some things you might want to keep out of reach when you are not in the room just so tornadoes don’t hit every day. So you might want to have higher shelves. And then there are toys which will fit in small spaces and can sit in cubes. Or there was bigger toys which might need toy boxes. You see what I mean?

The cute thumbnail photo you see is of Little Cube Friends which vary in size from 8-12″ in height. What holds them all together as a family are their pocket mouths that can be used to store your treasures or hide your secrets. If you sit one on your desk it can hold envelopes or pencils. I’m sure your little one can find uses for it that you couldn’t even imagine.

One of the more difficult rooms to organize in a fashionable way is the bathroom. It’s a small space, the items you store in a bathroom are not always pretty and well, that’s pretty much it. But you can get a spice rack and put it in your bath room! Just don’t use it as a spice rack. The thumbnail photo here shows a 3 hook spice rack has hooks, you can hang your bathrobe or towels. You can put your bath salts or body sprays on it. And it comes with a mason jar for you to put flowers or perhaps those cool little marble things that people normally put in aquariums, you know what I’m talking about? Anything that fits your color scheme and helps get items off the sink area while keeping room under the sink for the items that aren’t so pretty. Right?

Most families spend the vast majority of their time together in the living room. Small bowls and containers are your friends. The more loose items you have on surfaces, the more will gather there. Contain, contain, contain! And then there is the brilliant Storage Ottoman. Adults can put their feet up and blankets or toys or pillows can be stored out of sight, but not far from reach. Genius! Or mayhaps a Khaki colored storage bench which also could serve as an ottoman in a less bulky way.

What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck

Adventures in Solitude is Grant’s memoir of his time spent at his family cabin in Desolation Sound on the wild west coast of BC. The first half of the book chronicles Grant’s childhood when he wanted to be anywhere but Desolation Sound. The second half chronicles his rediscovery of the Sound as an adult, falling in love with the adventure, mystery, and characters found at this unique end of the road Canadian location.

“Our dorky family stood together at the top of the gangplank, looking down at the hive of activity on the dock. Boats of all shapes and sizes were lashed onto the floating “T”: dirty wooden tugs, aluminum oyster barges that resembled giant bathtubs, customized sailboats and half-sunken dinghies. The foot traffic was a mixture of loggers, oyster farmers, fishermen and end-of-the-road hippies that looked like a cross between the cast of The Beachcombers and the Manson Family. There was also a light sprinkling of summer tourists – everyone awkwardly united by an early summer’s worth of weathered relaxation”.

And so begins a chapter in Grant Lawrence’s first book Adventures In Solitude. A memoir of his time spent at his family cabin in Desolation Sound on the wild west coast of BC, CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence chronicles the sea change he undergoes from his childhood, when he wanted to be anywhere but Desolation Sound, to his rediscovery of the Sound as an adult after a long career as lead singer of The Smugglers. Surprisingly, it was in Desolation Sound where Grant’s love of music was born. “I received my first real rock ‘n’ roll tutorial from a bearded hermit in Desolation Sound named Russell, who was at one time a Bay Street stockbroker until something snapped and he ended up squatting in a tent in a tiny cove near our cabin here on the West Coast” says Lawrence. “I formed a band shortly after all of the music he introduced me too. Ironically it was because of the band that I didn’t return to Desolation Sound for well over a decade”.

Ultimately falling in love with the adventure, mystery, and dangers of this rugged place, Grant has written a funny and bittersweet narrative about this weird and dangerous end of the road Canadian location. “Desolation Sound is about as polar opposite as you can get from the places where I usually work: office buildings, big cities, downtown centres, and music festivals filled with thousands of people” explains Lawrence. “In the Sound, I can go for days on end without speaking to another human being, without seeing another human being. When I was a kid that freaked me out, when I was a teenager it repulsed me, and now as an adult I truly savour it – I just have to be wary of being attacked by a cougar, or an octopus, depending on where I am”.

The title is from one of Grant’s favourite songs by Vancouver band The New Pornographers.

The Cow in the Parking Lot #followfriday

Have you ever read a book which affected you so profoundly that you wanted to tell even complete strangers about it?

This is how I am feeling right now in regards to “The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston. It is a phenomenal book. When you see it and read the summary you may think it isn’t a necessary read in your life. This is because the emphasis is on dealing with anger. However, I have found there is far more involved in this book than just anger management.

This book is about total awareness of self.

You are at the opening of a new shopping center on the edge of town. You have been looking for a parking space for ten minutes. At last, right in front of you, the back-up lights come on. You turn on your turn signal and wait. From the other direction a jeep pulls into the space. Not only that, but when you honk, the driver gets out, smirks, and gives you the finger. Are you angry? You bet you are. Perhaps angry enough to want to ram his car. Now change the scene ever so slightly. Instead of a brash jeep driver, a cow comes from the other direction and settles into the space. When you honk, she looks up and moos. Are you angry? Probably not. Most people are amused.

I think what is most important to understand right off the bat while reading or listening to this book is what you personally mean when you say you are angry. For most people, myself included, anger is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, I say I am angry and sometimes I mean I am hurt or I am disappointed; it’s just that I am expressing it as anger because that seems to happen easier.

“To live is to embrace each moment of life as if it were the first, the last and all moments of life.”

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J.D. Salinger has died

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose “The Catcher in the Rye” shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.

“I love to write and I assure you I write regularly,” Salinger said in a brief interview with the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate in 1980. “But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it.”

The Catcher In The Rye, first published in 1951, is a tale of teenage angst. It has become one of the most influential American novels of the modern era.

Soon after its publication, Salinger shunned the fame it brought and became a recluse for the rest of his life.

Pablo Neruda speaks to my soul

“But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.”

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.

Leaning into the afternoons
I cast my sad nets
towards your oceanic eyes.

There in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames,
its arms turning like a drowning man’s.

I send out red signals across your absent eyes
that smell like the sea or the beach by a lighthouse.

You keep only darkness, my distant female,
from your regard sometimes the coast of dread emerges.

Leaning into the afternoons I fling my sad nets
to that sea that is thrashed by your oceanic eyes.

The birds of night peck at the first stars
that flash like my soul when I love you.

The night gallops on its shadowy mare
shedding blue tassels over the land.

Neruda’s production is exceptionally extensive. For example, his Obras Completas, constantly republished, comprised 459 pages in 1951; in 1962 the number of pages was 1,925, and in 1968 it amounted to 3,237, in two volumes. Among his works of the last few years can be mentioned Cien sonetos de amor (1959), which includes poems dedicated to his wife Matilde Urrutia, Memorial de Isla Negra, a poetic work of an autobiographic character in five volumes, published on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Arte de pajáros (1966), La Barcarola (1967), the play Fulgor y muerte de Joaquín Murieta (1967), Las manos del día (1968), Fin del mundo (1969), Las piedras del cielo (1970), and La espada encendida.

The Fey by Claudia Hall Christian

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the 2009 holiday season I began reading Claudia Hall Christian’s novel The Fey. It immediately pulled me in and so I found myself having to “go to the bathroom” more frequently, because when you have a 6 year old and 7 month old baby it’s not easy to find peace and quiet to read. So I brought the book with me wherever I could and even read it under my desk at work sometimes (during lunch hour of course).

“Champagne or whiskey?”
“Whiskey,” Alex replied as if it was obvious.

From beginning to end I could hear the characters while reading their dialogue. It was as if I was watching a movie, I felt connected with Sergeant Alexandra Hargreaves (Alex The Fey) right off the bat and enjoyed finding out how she would develop and what would happen next. In many ways, yes, this was a thrilling suspense, but it was also so much more. It was a story of growing, evolving, adapting, loving, persevering and letting go.

My favorite relationship in the story is between Alex and Max, they are twins (not adopted or aliens..you’ll understand after you read the book). Their relationship as brother and sister is just incredible. They have an unbreakable bond, probably because they are twins. And they would each die for each other in a heart beat.

Admittedly, I found myself wanting to read more and more about Alex “The Fey’s” relationship with John. I mean, how can you not blush when you read a line like ““And a very good morning to you,” he replied in his wonderful London accent.” Knowing the aroused wake up call they were taking part in…

But more than the romance, I have always absolutely loved any story about Central Intelligence, spies, madness and mayhem. The Fey, centers around Middle Eastern countries with Alex working situations in Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. The main man they were hunting down was Eleazar and he hated The Fey as much as she hated him. In addition to the main bad guy, there is talk about Homeland Security, servers crashing, military police shootings, espionage and antics, it’s just great!

You think you have been through a lot and then you read a book like this and realize your life is pretty damn easy-bake-oven-cake-easy. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s fiction, but it’s well written fiction.

“That hot chick is the Fey?”

When I read that after the soldiers were rescued I just laughed. And I literally said aloud “Damn straight she is.” Haha, as if I knew her and we were friends or something. So eat those flowers Eleazar!

I don’t want to share all the other tempting secrets with you, but trust me there are a lot of twists and turns. By chapter 12 you will feel topsy turvey and even then you’ll only be half way there. In spite of the whirl wind and fast pace, I can assure you that if you stick through it you will be so sad when you are done reading. It’s a quick, fabulously entertaining, nail biting amazing story. I cannot wait until February 1, 2010 when the next in the series comes out!

Learning to Stand will be released on February 1, 2010.