Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Book Suggestions

     Here it is winter time and me without a book! Since I don't have one to read right now, I decided to make a list for you of ones that I have read and enjoyed in the past. I like mostly fiction but no romance and no horror.
   I have waded through LOTS of books that didn't pull me in or keep my interest. Seems like about one out of five is a winner.
   If you have some favorites of your own, please list them below so that I can try them.

Here is my list although I'm sure I have left some out and will not think of them until after I publish this:

The Girls by Lori Lansens
Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens
Drowning Ruth by Christina Shwarz
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
House of Sand And Fog by Andres Dubus
Midwives by Chris Bohalian
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Oath by Frank Peretti
Monster by Frank Peretti
Whistling In The Dark by Lesley Kagen
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Jewel by Brett Lott
Queen by Alex Hailey
The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield
Pilgrim by Timothy Findley
Girls In Trouble by Caroline Leavitt
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Gilead:A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls (true story, excellent)
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Torture That Is Called Pilates

    I've been walking two miles a day on the treadmill in 40 minutes and lately my legs have really been hurting. I thought maybe I was overdoing the treadmill and should try something different. And then I remembered I had a Windsor Pilates video I had never used. Soooo........
     I moved the coffee table, put the tape in the VCR and got in the floor because apparently all Pilates have to be done on the floor. The first thing the instructor explained to me was that I was to remember at all times to constantly try to make my belly button pulled in so hard it would touch my spine. Now considering how far apart those two are on me, that would be quite a stretch if not a downright miracle.
     Then I started to try all these things that you had to do 10 repetitions each of. My body had never done any of these things and was not happy with my efforts.
     Not to mention that Kyle's dog Pip decided to "help" me. He was very concerned about me being in the floor. So the whole time I was rolling my fat body around trying to do these impossible exercises, Pip was barking, licking my face, and snapping at my hands.
     On days that Kyle works in the Beckley area, he pops in about five times throughout the day to use the computer. I was so hoping that this was a Boone County day. If he had walked in, I would have never heard the end of it. Lucky me, Kyle did not show up before I finally hauled myself up off of that floor twenty minutes later.
     Although I failed to be able to do about 70% of the excercises, the instructor assured  me that if I keep it up daily I will see results "soon". I did not realize how "soon" that would be.
     Kyle and Dylan wanted to go see The Green Hornet tonight. Not interested in that at all but not wanting to be left totally out, I decided to tag along but instead go by myself to watch "The Dilemma".
Great movie. I realized tonight that Vince Vaughn has a really pretty mouth. Not many men have pretty mouths.
     Anyway, I sat there mesmerized by Vince's perfectly shaped lips for 110 minutes. When it ended, I wanted to get up quickly and get out of everybody's way because the theater was packed. When I stood up, my abdominal muscles and thighs nearly threw me in the floor. They were so sore and jelly-like I nearly panicked. Then I remembered my exciting morning of Pilates. Wow, I didn't know you could get sore that quick.
      Will I try again? Absolutely, I plan to. But not until Monday because now it's the weekend and Kyle will be here. And you'd better believe that Pip will be the only one to ever witness my humiliation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A 44 year old's earliest memories of Beckley area businesses

Some of my best early memories are of stores in and around Beckley.

     I remember an ice cream parlor in the old Beckley Plaza Mall that had wrought iron tables and chairs.
     I remember a little store on Prince Street called Leed's.
     I remember the big staircase uptown at Grant's.
     I remember there being an elevator operater in JC Penney, and the way the cashiers had to send your payment up a tube to an office because they weren't trusted to handle cash. Also there was always a big display in there of Brownie and Girl Scout clothes.
     I remember what Ben Franklin's at Sophia smelled like inside, and do I remember correctly that they had uneven or slanted floors? I know for sure they were hardwood.
     I remember parking behind Hub and Vogue and then walking up through the alley to get to the stores.
     I remember how noisy the restaurant was inside GC Murphy, it sounded like a constant clashing of silverware. We ate their often. I remember my parents ordering me fried shrimp and the first time I ate the tails because I didn't know any better. I continued to eat the tails each time after that because it made them laugh.
    I remember how pizza from Amy's in Crab Orchard tasted and looked. You could see grease setting right on top of it. But is was delicious.
     We ate at King Tut's, Phil's, Shoney's, and Murphy's. Never Pete and Bobs.  There was a jukebox inside Phil's and my parents would give us money to put in it so we could play "The Streak". And how hard I would giggle over "It's me again, Margaret"
Do you share any of these memories?