Saturday, March 24, 2012


Last month I tried a new type of exercise called Oula. Oula is more of a way of life than an exercise. Yes it is an amazing workout, but it's absolutely addicting. I call Oula my new drug (legal drug that is). :)

You may be asking, "What is Oula?" Oula is a dance workout developed by a local Missoulian who named it 'Oula' in honor of Missoula. Each dance is choreographed to awesome music - ranging from pop to Hindu. And the music is nice and LOUD! There are over 128 choreographed songs to dance to, and some of my current favorites are: Lights by Ellie Goulding, Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO, Chammak Chulo by Akon, Turn Me On by David Guetta with Nicki Minaj, Part of Me by Katy Perry, and Starships by Nicki Minaj. If you want to check out (and hear) the complete playlist it's on grooveshark here:

If you would like to see one of the Oula dances check it out here: Flash Mob - Moves Like Jagger
Happy Dancing!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"So Many Books, So Little Time."

I am very blessed to be a teacher-librarian. When growing up, I used to play ‘library’. I still have my books from my childhood, and some of them have a piece of paper affixed to the front inside cover where I use a Scrappy-Doo stamp in order to check the book out. But never did I think that I would end up in that profession.

Some of the first series I remember reading are ‘The Sweet Valley Twins’ and ‘Nancy Drew Files’. I remember how exciting it was to go to the book store and get the next book in the series. (Back in the good ole days when a paperback only cost $3.00.) I still have these books, and had hoped to pass them on to my little girl someday, but at the moment it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, but I digress.

One of my favorite phrases is, “So many books, so little time,” by Frank Zappa. That is totally the case with me. I have never been a fast reader, and I remember one occasion when I was in high school and I was assigned to read Where Eagles Dare by Alistor McClean. I spent a Sunday reading in order to finish that book in time for school. At first I wasn’t really into Where Eagles Dare,  but when I took that Sunday to read, I ended up really enjoying the action and espionage. The other book I especially remember reading, and enjoying, that year was The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas.

During my senior year of high school we were able to select what genre of literature that we wanted to focus on in our English electives. I chose Mysteries for one quarter and Science Fiction for the other. I had always liked Nancy Drew and other mysteries as a child, so I was excited for this class. I remember being introduced to the great Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot in The Labors of Hercules and The Clocks. Agatha Christie wrote such intriguing mysteries, my parents and I rented some Agatha Christie movies, including: Evil Under the Sun (Poirot), Death on the Nile (Poirot), and They Do it With Mirrors (Miss Marple), and I’ve been an Agatha Christie fanatic ever since (especially anything dealing with Poirot). My Science Fiction class also introduced me to authors that I had never read before, including Arthur C. Clarke.

When I decided to get my masters in Curriculum and Instruction in college, I got to take many children’s literature classes. In one class we were required to read a minimum of 70 books during the semester; we needed to include picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, and multicultural books. Since I was so excited to do this, I started reading during the previous summer and read over 150 books by the end of fall semester. I enjoyed this experience and read some fun books, including: Pippi Longstockings by Lindgren, all of Patricia Polacco’s books, The Borrower’s by Norton, Kevin Henkes’s books, Bedknobs and Broomsticks by Norton, Summer Switch by Rogers, The Tale of Despereaux by DiCamillo, Crispin by Avi, Elijah of Buxton by Curtis, and many others.

As an adult reader I gravitated toward cozy mysteries and forensic mysteries. I know it’s cheesy, but I find it so relaxing settling down to read a Murder She Wrote book. I grew up watching Jessica Fletcher solve her weekly mystery every Sunday evening. So perhaps it’s due to the nostalgia, or maybe it’s because I find it a fun read, but whatever the case I collect all of those books. I’ve always loved books - I love the smell, and the accomplishment I feel after reading a book. I have over 1,000 books in my collection, and I think the majority are mysteries.

My most prized books are my Harry Potter books. I was in my early twenties when someone told me that I had to read these books. I must admit that I was skeptical. In my mind I thought that no book can be that good. So after a few other people suggested that I read this series, I borrowed the first four books from a friend. After reading the first few chapters I was hooked and ran down to Costco and bought the first four books in hardback - and if you know me I never buy hardback books. I furiously read the first four books in the Harry Potter series in a matter of days and then of course was disappointed because I had to wait for the fifth book to come out. I luckily only had to wait a few months. On the night the fifth book came out I went to the midnight release party at Hastings. I promptly bought my book around 12:05 and raced home to tear into the newest book - I read until after 3:00. Lol.

I am also a fan of forensic mysteries, especially ones written by Patricia Cornwell and I enjoy James Patterson’s detective mysteries. But I have to admit since becoming a teacher-librarian I mostly read Young Adult books now, and my cozy mysteries have taken a back seat. I do enjoy the Young Adult books I’ve been reading, but I think I need to take some time and read some of mysteries again. Which brings me back to my favorite quote that rings so true for me. . .“So many books, so little time.” Happy reading, and may all your reading experiences be pleasurable. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

People's Choice Awards

I only saw some of The People's Choice Awards last night, and I thought Kaley Cuoco did a wonderful job. But after looking at the results, I have to respectfully disagree with some of the outcomes. These are the results that I would have prefered:

Favorite TV Crime Drama: CSI or Bones
Favorite New Comedy: Last Man Standing (It's got Tim Allen, come on.)
Favorite Pop Artist: Katy Perry or Lady Gaga
Favorite TV Drama Actress: Emily Deschanel
Favorite Cable TV Drama: Dexter (I think this is a no-brainer.)
Favorite Network TV Comedy: The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family (tie for me)
Favorite TV Comedy Actor: Jim Parsons
Favorite TV Comedy Actress: I would have been happy with either Kaley Cuoco or Jane Lynch
Favorite Tour Headliner: U2
Favorite Song of the Year: Rolling in the Deep by Adele

Now my voice is heard. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye Christmas Decorations, Hello New Year

Today we got the outdoor decorations taken down, along with my Cherished Teddies and village scene. Every year I'm sad to take down the Christmas decorations and wonder where the time goes. I swear that every year the Christmas season gets shorter. After Christmas we got some 'after-Christmas sales' on some new outdoor decorations. Since one of our outdoor lighted trees was taken last year we decided to get something to fill the void. Of course I can't just get one thing. Here is a picture of some of the goodies we found.
We used to have a train out front, but some of the lights decided to stop working, so we even got a new train. Yay! I also love snowmen, so this will be a nice addition. We also got some multicolored trees that are 3' and 4' tall, and a cool lighted "twig tree" that I think will look really cool too. I'm excited for this year, I just hope no one takes anything.
Here's a picture of our decorations taken a few years ago. Can't wait to see what it will look like this year. :)