alwayswithme, a Weblog

where I keep my thoughts together

More Suggested Books to Read July 31, 2008

Filed under: Books — alwayswithme @ 5:18 pm

101 Great Books

Recommended for College-Bound Readers

Author Title
Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart
Agee, James A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert The Stranger
Cather, Willa Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage
Dante Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo Selected Essays
Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Faust
Golding, William Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms
Homer The Iliad
Homer The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik A Doll’s House
James, Henry The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt
London, Jack The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur The Crucible
Morrison, Toni Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William Hamlet
Shakespeare, William Macbeth
Shakespeare, William A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles Antigone
Sophocles Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David Walden
Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard Native Son


A Really Great Post on Attitude

Filed under: Books,Health — alwayswithme @ 3:06 am
Tags: , , , , ,

There is a book recommendation in there that I need to go look at.  Loved the post.  More on it later but I’m going to bed now.

I just re-read the post.  The author suggest thinking about the positive parts of yourself and making a list of them so before I get DS off to bed :

  1. I am kind
  2. I am loving
  3. I am helpful
  4. I get to be 50 soon and am looking forward to it
  5. I am a good friend
  6. I am a good daughter
  7. I am a good wife
  8. I am a good mother
  9. I am intelligent
  10. I am curious
  11. I can be counted on

That is what I can think of.  I am a pretty decent person.  I need to remember that.  More later.


Stainless steel and glass July 30, 2008

Filed under: Family,Frugal Ideas,Household,Organization — alwayswithme @ 3:02 pm
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I have found a few stainless steel glasses that are working for me.  I got them a WalMart.  I don’t know who makes them but they have a plastic surround that you can hold on to so the glass isn’t too cold or hot.  I got the last two they had; hopefully they will get more.  I also found one at Goodwill.

I’m still on the using glass jars kick.  I’ve purchased a few large glass jars with screw on lids at WalMart to keep our cereal and crackers in.  I’m trying to get away from having all these boxes around with varying amounts of food in them and being more in control of when my cardboard recycling amounts are created. 

I think I just realized I’m trying to control what I can control – babysteps.  Perhaps if I can control the small things I can get control of some of my larger issues.  I am finding that it is what works for me.


Today July 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 10:05 pm

We loaned our van to Matt and his friends for their annual canoe trip so I am currently driving a black Acura TS and man is it ever nice.  Having been a van person for the past nine years I’ve forgotten how fun some cars can be to drive.  DH wants me in a car for our next vehicle which only makes sense what with gas prices and the fact that we just have one minor child now.  We do like to drive our cars until they drop and having no car payments is of the utmost importance to me.  Now that DH is employed again I am hoping we can build our savings back up again.

Rob and I ran errands and I enjoyed the day.  He was tired but didn’t complain to much.  I found several light fixtures to show to Greg at Lowes.  I did not find the blue toaster I was looking for.  We went to Target and I purchased myself a pretty teal purse.  I just decided that I was bored carrying my basic brown and black bags and wanted to punch up my look some.  It felt really good to treat myself like that.

Nothing got done around the house today except the basics.  I need to make a real dent in things tomorrow morning before we go to tennis.  I will wear capris and tennis shoes in case we go play tennis after lunch.  If it isn’t raining Terri and I will walk while the kids are practicing.

My sister’s MRI showed two new but inactive lesions.  She expected the one because of her eyesight loss.  I think the second one was a surprise but I think it probably explains her needing to use the cane now.  Her attitude is still so good.  Mom and Dad took her to the area she and my niece are going to “vacation” at.  She has a gift certificate for Chili’s so they can eat there one time.  She got that certificate for participating in one of the MS studies she enrolls in for research.  Cassidy wants to eat at Outback Steakhouse.  I think I’ll see if we can get a gift certificate to there for them before they leave. 

I got some lovely comments on some prior posts which was really a good feeling.  DS wants to go to bed so I will sign off.


The Woman at Church

Filed under: DH,Family — alwayswithme @ 7:14 am
Tags: , , ,

I attend a very large church with many services plus we live in a suburban area that has a lot very good jobs so there are always new people coming into the community.  So today, like almost any day, I see someone I haven’t seen before.  As we pulled into the parking lot  this beautiful blond woman in a simple brown knit sleeveless dress with a perfect tan was crossing the lot with her family to get to the church building.  I thought wow, I wish I could look somewhat like her.  I try not to let that happen too often but she was it and so it did.

We parked and scooted into mass just before it started.  The sanctuary was really packed; we had to search  for a spot with three spaces available.  I found one; the nice woman sitting on the end moved way down so that DH, DS and I plus another woman could be seated.  Now, who do you think was sitting directly in front of my DH?  Oh yes, the beautiful woman in brown.  I felt so bad for him, having to be so close to her.  I know DH is a visual guy — what man isn’t.  He spent most of the service with his eyes closed because he is so faithful; such a godly man.  I tried to not notice her and to remind myself that she isn’t perfect that she has her share of problems and heartaches just as we all do.  I prayed that God would let me be my version of beautiful a year from now so that I wouldn’t have to feel this envy.  I asked God for forgiveness for letting myself get in this shape, for not looking like the woman my husband deserves to have for his mate and  for help in getting myself under control.

It wasn’t just this woman was beautiful but she also appeared to be very good mom which made her all that much more attractive.  I truly hope God richly blesses her and I pray for any problems or concerns she has in her life.  I also pray that she and her family enjoy a beautiful relationship with our Lord.

Peace be with you.


Menu Week One July 28, 2008

Filed under: Family,Organization — alwayswithme @ 5:46 pm


Okay, we bought a new refrigerator so I’ve got to eat out of our old one this week to get it emptier before the new one arrives:

 MONDAY           TUESDAY      WEDNESDAY       

 Bison burgers    Salmon          Bison casserole    

 Tater Tots          AuGratin       Broccoli 

 Corn                  Fruit              Fruit         


 THURSDAY        FRIDAY               SATURDAY    SUNDAY

 Fish sticks        Baked Chicken    Omelets          Bison steak

 Fries                 Broccoli               Hash browns   Baked potatoes

Corn                  Fruit                     Fruit                Mixed veg

To view other menus for the week, visit here and greetings to anyone who may be visiting my blog today.



Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 3:03 pm

Lately I’ve been into Hershey Almond Bars.  After being gone from home two hours longer than I planned today, what did I do?  I purchased more bars and just wolfed one down without even realizing that I had eaten the whole thing (seriously, my hand went down to get another piece and there were no other pieces) and now I’m eating another one.  I am glad this is happening right now because I have to identify my triggers and quit ignoring them so perhaps I’ll have a chance of getting myself under control.  So. . .

  1. I planned to take Rob tennis, go to CVS for my prescription and then come home for a salad.
  2. What I did was take Rob to tennis and visited with Jeff’s mom.  She is a complainer and everything always happens to her so the visit was fine in some respects and in others it was not.  Rob wanted to play with Jeff, Jeff had a dental appointment at 2:30 p.m.  Jeff’s mom wanted to practice tennis with the boys after eating at Burger King.  I said okay to that because we had fun practicing tennis last week. 
  3. We ate a Burger King–I had a Rodeo Hamburger for $1 and a chocolate chip cookie.   Rob got his Pokemon Kids Meal then we went to play tennis.  Had a decent time.
  4. It was a steamy 75 degrees (20 degrees cooler than this weekend).  After awhile sweat rolled down my back.  It was still somewhat fun although. . .
  5. Rob was, in my opinion, bossy and belittling at times to Jeff.  I’ve noticed this more and more recently.  He has to have the last word, he has to “know” everything and when I call him on it he will say “well sooorrrry”.  I am not a spanker but I did tell him he was not to old to spank.
  6. Jeff got bored and wanted to go.  We stayed a bit longer then left them so Jeff could go to the dentist.
  7. They are to call if the kids can play together again today.
  8. It was past 2:00 p.m. so I missed Rush again–haven’t heard him for weeks.  When I have been around the radio he has had a guest host.
  9. Arrived at CVS and looked at the ads.  I had already decided I was going to purchase some candy.  Hershey’s were on sale $1 for 2.  So I bought 4.  Shouldn’t have bought any but did it anyway.
  10. When leaving the lot I got into the left turn lane, which I know better than to do but did it anyway.  There was a car in the right hand lane trying to turn left.  I always try to let the person to my right be able to see around me if they were there first because I hate it when people pull up so far that I can’t see around them.  He finally went and then it was my turn; but no a huge red truck pulls up in the right lane way past me (because you know he couldn’t see over me) blocking my view so I had to wait for him to turn so I could see.  Luck was with me and he wasn’t there long but I was so annoyed at his lack of courtesy that it didn’t matter that I was able to turn pretty much immediately after he left.  I was already ticked off.

Analysis anyone?


Top 100 Books According to the BBC

Filed under: Books — alwayswithme @ 9:01 am
 I found this over here where Suzanne included the following “The BBC say the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list.”  I thought I would participate since I love good books.

If you’d like to participate in this meme simply copy the list and follow the instructions below. And be sure to post a comment so we can follow each other around.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Comment on ones you want to.

4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28  Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma– Jane Austen   I am reading now
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42  The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown  
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (why is this on the list?)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


Things I’m Addicted To

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 7:37 am
  1. Chocolate
  2. Reading blogs
  3. Magazines
  4. LOST
  5. CSI-NY and the original in Vegas
  6. NCIS
  9. My Family
  10. Worry
  11. Prayer
  12. Scratching an itch
  13. Just thinking

What Works For Me July 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — alwayswithme @ 4:17 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been reading Rocks in My Dryer for several months and finally have decided to enter that world myself. 

The tip:  I have spent years buying plastic storage containers and then replacing them because they got stained, I lost the lid, the lid melted in the dishwasher, it cracked, it started peeling and so on.   When I started recycling, thanks to the encouragement of my youngest son, I began to think about what else I could use; and then it hit me.  I buy glass jars of pasta sauce, salsa, mayo, jelly etc.  Why couldn’t I reuse those?  No reason whatsoever!  I washed them, peeled off the label and inside go whatever leftover I have.  The clear glass makes it very visible and I’ve noticed that we are using them up better than before.  Perhaps because we can SEE inside them.

So there you go, two frugal tips in one:  1. stop buying plastic, use the glass jars you already own and   2. use up your leftovers rather than tossing them out after you forgot what was in there.  This works for me.