Not bad for a fat girl


Ten Books and Then Ten More

The ten book challenge has been going around Facebook.  I already gave my ten books answer there, but a quick little list didn’t seem to do those books justice. If you’ve missed it, the idea is to write down the titles of ten books that have stayed with you in some way. They don’t necessarily have to be the ten best books you’ve ever read, or your ten favorite books. You’re supposed to list ten that come to mind quickly.

I’ve really enjoyed reading the lists that have been generated as a result of this challenge, and I’m taking note of titles that keep popping up. My original list (done quickly, as the challenge requested) is as follows:

blog-catcher1. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

I wrote my first huge term paper on this book, and spent a lot of time thinking about Holden Caulfied and his life.

51WbBVkQIvL._AA160_2. My Brother Sam is Dead, James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I read this book in the sixth grade, and it was the first book that I literally couldn’t put down. I read until the middle of the night to finish it.

notebook3. The Notebook (not the movie!!!) , Nicholas Sparks

I sat down on the couch one rainy Saturday afternoon and cried my eyes out.

51awk-hn9WL._AA160_4. Little Women, Lousia May Alcott

I read this at summer camp when I was about 12 during the daily enforced 30 minute silent “rest” time after lunch.

51XU9RLFpqL._AA160_5. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Jan-Phillipp Sendker

This is possibly the most beautifully written and haunting book I’ve read.

41qsZrtLIDL._AA160_6. The Time Traveler’s Wife , Audrey Niffenegger

The time travel and the fully dimensional characters have intrigued and stayed with me.

41bOj-am1RL._AA160_7. The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins

I was right there with Katniss every step of the way. A glorious, exhilarating read.

51gqwQetEVL._AA160_8. The Little House on the Prairie series, Laura Ingalls Wilder

My second grade teacher read us the first book, and I was hooked. I saved my money and bought the whole series, which still has a place of honor on my bookshelf.

51lIcxDk-iL._AA160_9. My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George

I read this one in fifth grade and was completely taken into Sam’s world. The setting description is phenomenal.

41CPynRRVxL._AA160_10. The Deep End of the Ocean, Jacquelyn Mitchard

A mystery, a family story, and an all around wonderful book. A book that makes you question what you would do.


As I’ve read other lists, I keep thinking about more books that have stayed with me, and I’d like to add an additional ten. I hope you’ll indulge me.


517geWVdGHL._AA160_11. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne

A Holocaust story that is incredibly personal and different from so many others. Impossible not to be moved.


61O0HDgMA6L._AA160_12. My Orange Duffel Bag, Sam Bracken

A memoir of struggle and triumph done is a graphic, almost scrapbook style.


41fCMKw8UjL._AA160_13.  The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

So many lessons in this one, and a beautiful dog too.


51zY7Dut3-L._AA160_14. People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks

This is a huge story, done so carefully and beautifully as it takes you though history to a modern mystery. Stunning writing.


51YuPuZ0efL._AA160_15. Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson

Slavery in New York City at the dawn of the American Revolution. Laurie Halse Anderson is an incredible writer, and her historical fiction, in particular, is genius.


51NZp-TJSwL._AA160_16. Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire, Rafe Esquith

An inspiring book about doing much with little for kids who have almost nothing.


51GeYQZ1LFL._AA160_17. The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler

A quirky love story with characters who you feel like you know.


51PoQ8xw5IL._AA160_18. Saving Dinner, Leanne Ely

Ok, I don’t know if cookbooks count, but this one has so many great recipes in it, I had to include it. It’s my go-to cookbook.


A1tUz9sGIiL19. The Official Preppy Handbook, Lisa Birnbach

Sure, it’s silly. But what a terrific little book, full of humor and wit and prep lore and wisdom.


41D9P3BZSWL._AA160_20. The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom

Lessons to learn in a beautifully written story. Stunning.


Please share your list with me in the comments. Writers are readers, after all, so let’s share the book love.


What the Tweet is Going On?

imagesI’ve discovered Twitter. Rediscovered it, actually. I signed up years ago during a workshop, but never used it. I went back to it two weeks ago when I went to a writing conference. I kind of like it, but like most things that are new to me, I don’t really fully grasp it. Oh sure, I know how to tweet, and how to follow people, and I have some vague notion of what the hashtags are for, but in terms of how the whole thing really WORKS… well, that’s still pretty much a mystery for me.

I’ve decided to learn about it, though, instead of just accepting that I “kind of” get it. I downloaded a little Twitter e-book on the advice of a fellow writer I met at the conference, and I’m uncovering more of the potential power of those 140 character bursts of information. It’s truly amazing what a little tweeting can do.

It’s also a little strange what some people choose to tweet about. There are those who tweet about everything, from the fiber content of their lunch to the viscosity of their mucus. Ok, I made that one up. I haven’t actually seen that tweet. Yet. But maybe if I search #mucus it might show up.

Meanwhile, I’d love to see what you’re tweeting about and hear about how you use Twitter. I’d love to have you along for my ride, and see what your Twitter world is about, too. Come check me out @HeidiWeinmann. Oh, and for the truly curious, there’s a real picture there of the real me (at least as of this writing). Talk about a teaser, right? See you in the tweets.


How Do You Move?

exercise-clipartI want some new activities to get me moving, not that my old ones are stale or anything, but I want to mix things up a bit. What movement activities do you most enjoy? Please weigh in with your vote. I would love to hear more in the comments. Thanks!


Walk Much?

This is really my park

This is really my park

Lately my answer to that question has been a resounding no. It’s too hot, it’s too humid, there’s a storm, I’m in a hurry, and the laundry room where the treadmill is housed is like a sauna. No, I don’t usually use all of those excuses at the same time, but you can see that I have several that I can mix and match as the situation presents itself.

I need to walk. I need to do something. Anything, really. So today I did. I got the leash, attached the happy, wiggly dog to the other end, and I walked. I walked directly across the street to the park and along the shaded path that leads to the basketball court.

I continued on and walked past the volleyball pit and noticed that it has lights for night time play, then I crossed over to the playground area. I walked on down the path, along the fence separating the park from the elementary school. I followed the curve and walked alongside the large playing field and across to the street. When I arrived there, I turned around and walked back.

It was a good walk. No, it was better than that. It was an excellent walk. It was also the first time I set foot in the park in the month or so that I’ve lived here. It’s a lovely park and it’s on my doorstep. I have zero excuse for not using it. Now I know. Now I have to do it. So the next time the question, “walk much?” comes up I’ll be able to say, “Yes, all the time.”

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Throwback Thursday – Cars Edition

1973 VW Bug 007It seems that most of the cars I remember from my childhood had something peculiar about them. This is no surprise, since oddities stick in the brain. Here are some of the cars I remember.

1. My grandmother’s sapphire blue Ford LTD. She was tiny, so she drove around on a pillow. It was a square thing and really old. Like her. Well, except for the fact that she wasn’t square.

2. My other grandmother’s Pontiac Grand Am. It was a hideous olive green color, but what a cool looking car!

3. Mom’s 1973 T-Bird. That was the car that I got my leg closed on. It was an almost white shade of light green, and the dog chewed up the armrest when my mother took him to run errands one day.

4. The Oldsmobile station wagon. This is the car I learned to drive in. It was enormous, pale yellow, and complete with faux wooden paneling.

5. VW Bug, before it was a punchbug. My friend’s mom had one, which later became her brother’s. I loved riding around in that little bug.

6. The earliest version of the Honda Civic. Back in those days Honda’s were only motorcycles. A Honda car was weird, and very tiny. I remember being squished in the backseat of one on the way to a concert during my teens.

7. The Lincoln Continental, for some reason, bugged me. One of our neighbors had one, and I thought it was the most gawd-awful looking thing around.

8. VW Thing. Another neighbor had one of those, in bright yellow. For some reason I found this car preferable to the Lincoln. Go figure.


Caught in a Bear Trap

I had my physical the other day. Actually it was the post-physical appointment where the doctor went over all the test results with me. The physical itself was a huge undertaking with all sorts of procedures and exams and x-rays and more, including fasting bloodwork that wasn’t completed until late in the afternoon. It’s a wonder I didn’t faint.

The doctor started with the results of that bloodwork, and he was quite pleased. The iffy numbers from my last labs were replaced by excellent numbers this time around. imagesI’m nowhere near diabetes either, which is cause for celebration. In fact, according to the labs I’m in great shape. Then we looked at the cardiovascular age that one of the fancy-schmancy machines calculated for me, and, (drum roll please), it concluded that my heart age is a good decade younger than my real age. Fantastic!

We went over several other tests, all good, then arrived at one the doctor didn’t like. It was a blood pressure test that was done on both arms, both thighs, both ankles, and both big toes. It was horribly painful, especially on my thighs.  It felt more like a trip to the middle ages than modern medicine. As I waited for my bones to be crushed into dust I repeated over and over in my head, “this won’t last, this won’t last.” Thankfully I was right.

The doctor pointed out that one of the numbers from that test didn’t match the others. He told me that he didn’t like it because it was an indication of trouble. But what about the other tests? They were all good. Really good, in fact. Nope, he wasn’t having it. So much for my decade of leeway. He told me it didn’t count since I had this other thing going on. Phooey.

He gave me some directions to follow to get things under control, including once again reminding me that I need to lose a significant amount of weight. Naturally diet and exercise were discussed, and I get it, but I can’t help but feel cheated. Everything else was good. Really, it was. If we hadn’t done that one horrible test I would have walked out of there on cloud nine. I would have been the picture of health. Instead I was a time bomb. My words, not his. He is far more tactful than that. In spite of the doctor’s seriousness, I decided to push that little bit of negative news to the back of my brain and focus on the positive. I’m a positive person, after all.

I went home and told my sweetheart all the things the doctor and I discussed. I told him that I was going to focus on the positives, and that the doctor couldn’t just negate all of them with the results form that one additional test from hell. My sweetheart disagreed.

11971190921093978233ivak_Bear_Trap.svg.hiAs always, he made his point briefly and clearly. He told me that it doesn’t matter how healthy you are otherwise when you’ve got your leg caught in a bear trap. Seriously? Damn. So my healthy lungs and my normal blood sugar and my perfect vitamin D level are all happy accidents. They’re nice, but once my leg is in that bear trap they become irrelevant. All efforts must be focused on escaping from the trap, and whether my vision is perfect or my skin is clear becomes way less important.

He’s right of course. He usually is. Now I not only have to keep all the good things good, but I have to work my way out of this most recent snafu. What a mess. Still, it can’t be ignored. After all, you can’t get far once you’re caught in a trap.



The Devil, Karma, and Frito Pie


One from the archives. Enjoy.

Originally posted on BulgingButtons:

images-1You know those little angel and devil guys from the cartoons? The ones that sit on your shoulders? Well I think I have a pair of them hanging around me lately. Not only do I think I have them, I think they’re sparring like crazy. Recently it seems like when I do something positive, there’s something negative right on its heels. Maybe life is usually like that, but I’m just noticing it more, or maybe something is afoot in the cosmos.

Let me give you an example. The other day I did a favor for someone that involved a fair amount of time and effort. It wasn’t difficult, and I didn’t really mind doing it, but it did take a chunk of time that I would have rather spent doing something else. Regardless, I did it and was kind of patting myself on the back about what a nice person…

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