Happy Holidays, Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and All That Jazz

The world didn’t end, so I guess not buying Christmas presents for anyone was a bad move on my part. Seriously, what are you going to do with a new Nook Color during the zombie apocalypse? While I think it would be air dynamic enough to hurl at an approaching ghoul, it certainly doesn’t weigh enough to bash in any brains.

I could battle the crowd of desperate shoppers at the mall to buy anything that is still in stock. “Oh, look they have a perfectly good tuna scented candle on sale for half off. Now who in my family really likes tuna?” Or I could smile really big and hope no one notices that I didn’t get them anything. Luckily, my family doesn’t really celebrate Christmas so I know no one has gotten me anything either.

Instead of exchanging gifts on Christmas Day, we hunker down in the bomb shelter my father has dug under the condo, eat military style rations, drink Tang, and wait for the world to end. It’s big fun. You should try it some time. Seriously, once you have you’ll never have a normal Christmas again.

Season’s Greetings from the Hunter Family bunker where we celebrate Christmas Mooch Style.

Walking the Cat

So you all know about my latest obsession with dogs which is much different than my obsession with foxes because I could actually get a pet dog one day. I guess I could get a pet fox too, but that’s not as easy as just popping by the pound and picking one up.

I keep trying to imagine my pet dog and what she might be like. I scroll through the SPCA website and pick out contenders. I think I’ll name my dog Lettuce. I’ve decided that’s a good doggy name. I’m also going to get a cat and name him Bacon. Every time I tell my husband that I plan on teaching Bacon to walk on a leash he looks at me like I’m crazy.

“You take dogs for walks, why can’t you take a cat?” I say.

“You just don’t,” he says.

My husband obviously has no vision. He has no idea that I’m going to start a world wide cat and dog walking trend. I imagine myself walking Bacon and Lettuce together on a leashes through my new sidewalk filled neighborhood. It will be great. We’ll get so much exercise and I’ll be totally in control. People will point and say look at that lady walking a cat and a dog on leashes. I’ll wave and smile with pride.

Everyone will think, “Gee that lady has a good idea.” Before you know it in every country in the land people will start waking their cats and dogs together. Inspired by the new found harmony between cat and dog all people will stop fighting and peace will spread across the Earth. All of this walking will cure the obesity epidemic and people will be healthier.

The world will be a much better place just because I taught my cat to walk on a leash with a dog. Once they get the walking down I’m going to teach my dog to drive a car and my cat to read a map.

Now I just need to get the cat and dog.

There’s Something About an English Apple

There are a lot of things that America does well, but grow a delicious apple is not one of them. I am consistently disappointed by the quality of the apples here. They are all mushy and powdery inside. Even the ones that seem like they might be wonderful are mush in your mouth.

An English apple on the other hand is like heaven. It’s a frothy delight. When I bite into one I swear I hear angels singing. If you are wondering what could be so great about an apple, you’ve obviously never tasted an English apple. If you had you’d know exactly what I mean.

I often wonder what the English secret is to growing such delicious apples. Maybe it’s the thick layer of clouds covering the country. Maybe it’s the constant supply of cold rain. Maybe it’s the Wellington boots worn by the English farmers or the ability to complain about the weather no matter what it is. Or maybe apple trees thrive on dry, cynical humor. Whatever it is American farmers need to get up to speed.

For now I’m considering starting an English apple import company. My English apples will blow American taste buds away. That’s my big idea for the day.

Photo by A Guy Taking Pictures

Sidewalks Across America

I really like sidewalks or footpaths for all you who talk like my husband. I really, really like them. You may be wondering why someone would have such an affection for a slab of concrete. Well, let me tell you.

A sidewalk makes a neighborhood. I don’t even know how you can call an area with no sidewalks a neighborhood. If you can’t walk between houses without walking in the street or across someone’s lawn it’s not a neighborhood. If you live in one of these strange sidewalkless communities and I’ve offended you by saying that it is not a neighborhood, I’m sorry. It’s just that sometimes you have to take a stand, and I’m taking mine right here on the sidewalk.

I like to go for walks, but a neighborhood with no sidewalks is a neighborhood that discourages walking. A neighborhood that discourages walking encourages sitting around on the sofa eating Doritos all day. That just leads to bad health, a couch with a permanent indentation and a worldwide shortage of Doritos. No wonder Floridians are so unhealthy.

I would like to make a call for action across the state … no across the country. If you don’t have a sidewalk in your community go to Home Depot and buy some cement. I’m not sure how much you need because I have no previous experience with cement. Mix that cement up and make your own little sidewalk right outside your house. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. Nothing is perfect and I’ve read that walking on a challenging surface develops the muscles in your feet.

If everyone made their own little sidewalk in front of their houses they could all connect. Then we would all have sidewalks. It would be like Hands Across America only better because it would have a point and afterwards there would be a completed network of sidewalks that people could actually walk on when they took their dogs out in the evening, not just a bunch of confused people trying to stretch as far as they can to hold hands across a bridge and then just pretending there’s not a giant gap in the middle and swaying back and forth singing that annoying song.

Photo by edkohler

Speed Reading Fail

Yesterday I decided to teach myself to speed read. Not because I’m a slow reader, but because I just thought it might be a good skill to have. How impressive would it be if I could read an entire book in a day! Hi, my name is Lovelyn and I read all of War and Peace yesterday. Come on, I know that statement impressed you.

The first step to learning how to speed read is grabbing a random book from the shelf and trying to read it really really fast. Once I realized that wasn’t working out very well, I decided to search for instructions online. I found these from Tim Ferris, of course.

Why do speed reading instructions have to be so long and complicated? Good grief, you already have to know how to speed read just to get through the speed reading instructions. I had allotted 25 minutes out of my busy work day of checking Facebook and updating my Twitter account to teach myself how to speed read, but the instructions seemed like they’d take 20 of those minutes to read. Still I pressed ahead … until I got to the part that involved math.

What the heck does multiplication have to do with reading all of Moby Dick in one day? Nothing that’s what. With that my dreams of speed reading were dashed. The allotted time was up and I had to get back to doing more important things, like watching this …

The Best Invention

If you don’t know who Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog was I question the quality of the education you received as a youth. In 1954 Woog invented something that completely changed life as I know it–the electric toothbrush. Of course Woog was Swiss. Those clever Swiss, they’re so good with army knives, bank accounts, cheese, and oral hygiene.

I never realized how lazy I was before I got an electric toothbrush. No more of that moving the toothbrush up and down, or around in small circles, or whatever the heck you’re supposed to do. Now I just hold the toothbrush against my teeth and let the spinning bristle head do all the work. That’s probably not how you’re supposed to do it, but I don’t care. I floss everyday. I think I deserve a break. Now when brushing my teeth I can listen to the soothing hum of the toothbrush whilst contemplating my place in the universe.

Manual toothbrushes just seem like such a drag to me. Why would you drive a Gremlin when you have a Porsche parked in the garage? I know nothing about cars; I just made that up on the fly. I’m not even sure if a Gremlin is a car and my electric toothbrush has made me so lazy that I’m not going to look it up.

Now all I need is some sort of electric flossing device that I just stick in my mouth. I could floss hands-free whilst typing. That would be the life. Or maybe I could have some kind of automatic toothbrush implanted in my cheek that would pop out and do the job whenever necessary. I wouldn’t have to do anything at all. I need someone to invent that. I can’t. I don’t get up until 9 and everyone knows that all the best inventions happen between 7:43 and 8:32 in the morning.

Photo by Rob Ellis

The Olympics

I hate watching sports on television, but normally the Olympics doesn’t affect me. I don’t watch much TV and the TV I do watch I watch online these days.

My husband is a sports fanatic though. Any kind of sporting event on television gets his complete unbroken attention until said event is over. Now that we’re staying with my parents and their enormous television for a little while that means watching the Olympics at every meal. How much volleyball can one person watch?

Now that I’m basically forced to watch some Olympic events on television, I’ve been trying to decide which events I would be competing in if I were an Olympic athlete. It wouldn’t be swimming because I hate chlorine. Once I decided I was going to swim laps in the public pool every morning to get in shape and I nearly drowned. Here’s a quick tip: If you are drowning in four feet of water don’t panic just try standing up. This only works if you’re over four feet tall though.

I might be good at Judo. I’m not a particularly good fighter, but I do excel at falling down. I enjoy sprinting, but I’m not very fast and I’ve noticed that the women in the event usually wear jewelery. I don’t have much jewelery so I’m sure I wouldn’t fit in.

If they only awarded metals for worrying I’m sure I would be able to win the gold. I may be the best worrier in the world. The endorsement deals would come rolling in.

If you haven’t read my latest book yet, maybe you should. People really like it and you might too. Here is what one person said …

[Flying Lessons] is very well written, the story line moves along seamlessly and culminates beautifully. The characters are well developed and it is easy to identify with them. The author shows great talent and I look forward to reading her other books. The book was truly unputdownable for me and I read it in one sitting … Joana James from Book Wormz

Get it on Kindle here. Get it for the Nook here. Get it in all eformats here.

Don’t have an ereader, maybe you should get one. They’re all the rage in Arizona. I hear the Kindle is good. Check it out here.

Disc Golf

I’m not big into playing sports. I’m actually one of the lest sporty people on the planet. I can’t get a basketball into a hoop. I can’t catch a football. I can’t hit a baseball with a bat.

When I was a kid sports meant gym class and gym class meant humiliation. I was the kid who always dropped the ball or more accurately ran away from the ball. I was the kid picked last for the kickball team. I never understood why they let kids pick teams in gym class. It’s so embarrassing for the people that no one wants to pick. The only time I excelled in an athletic activity in school was during a game of capture the flag. I managed to run unnoticed into the other teams territory. Unfortunately, I was being chased by a bee so I ran right past the flag and into the school.

I’m older and wiser now, but I’m not any more coordinated than I used to be as a child. I still suck at sports. Because I’m not good at it I don’t like it. The other day I encountered a sport that I enjoyed. It’s called disc golf. Have you ever played it? It’s like golf but there are no holes, clubs, tees, sand traps, or balls. Doesn’t that sound just like golf?

Instead of holes, there are baskets, and instead of balls, there are Frisbees. I’m not sure if anything that involves a Frisbee can really be classified as a sport, but I’m sure it can be called fun. Here’s a picture of someone playing disc golf:

He doesn’t look like he’s having fun, but that’s because even though he’s supposed to be a professional he’s obviously doing it wrong. He should get a few lessons from me. While I do approved of the raised leg technique, I definitely don’t approve of the frown.

When I get back to the UK I’m going to make my own disc golf course. I think I can make the baskets out of twigs and yarn. I’m also pretty sure I can use a dinner plate as Frisbee. That should work just fine. Right?

Photo by USACE-Sacramento


The Lovelyn Method Vision Improvement Program

When I was in fourth grade I got my first pair of glasses. I still remember the first day I wore them to school. I was so shocked by how clear everything looked. All that time I’d thought that everyone else saw the world in blurry shapes just like I did. I remember saying to my mother, “Wow! Trees aren’t just blobs of green. They have individual leaves.”

I wasn’t the kid who desperately wanted to get rid of my glasses so I could be one of the cool girls. I though glasses were cool. I thought I looked great in them. That is until my husband got lasik eye surgery.

I would never get an eye operation. Just mentioning eye operations now is making my eyes tear up, but I don’t want to wear my glasses any more. I’ve decided to deal with this problem by trying Bates Exercises.

The Bates Method is a series of exercises that are supposed to improve your eyesight. The theory is that the muscles around your eyes can change the shape of your eyes to improve your ability to focus. Bates developed a series of eye exercise you could do to train the muscles around your eyes improving your vision.

I decided to start doing these exercises. Well, that’s not exactly the truth. I’ve decided to make up my own exercises because I’m too lazy to look up what the Bates Exercises actually  are. I also really like making things up, like stories, dances and dessert recipes. My made-up cookies are pretty darn good, I think I could accomplish equally good results with made up eye exercises.

When I’m in the car with my husband at night I take off my glasses and concentrate really hard on seeing. I’m not driving when I do this my husband is. It’s a good thing too because as soon as I take off my glasses all I can see is a bunch of streaky lights that look like snow flakes. I’ve put myself on a strict eye exercise routine. My husband says that the exercises just look like I’m making a really serious face, but that’s because he can’t see the tiny movements that are actually going on in my eye muscles. I do this for about 1 minute twice a week.

Is it working? Of course it is. Now when I walk around without glasses, I can see slightly more detailed blobs of color in the distance. Okay, that’s not true either, but I figure that if I pretend it’s working it will work…eventually.


Reading, Writing and…

I’m a workaholic. I work ten hours a day six days a week. It’s pretty hard to pull me away from my work. On Sundays, I set work aside and try desperately to do something else. Sometimes that’s a hard task and as the day ticks down I found myself at a bit of a loss.

Last Sunday as I waited for my husband to come home from work, I decided to teach myself the Deseret alphabet. Why not waste my brain space with something completely useless? As a child I would’ve loved it for writing secret messages, but as an adult, I’m just doing it for the laughs.

In case you didn’t know:

In the mid 1800′s, under the direction of Brigham Young a committee of folks created a new alphabet. The purpose of the alphabet was to make it easier to read and write English phonetically. Apparently, the Latin alphabet everyone already used just wasn’t good enough. The alphabet didn’t catch on. There were only a few books printed using this new alphabet among which were The Book of Mormon (of course) and an English-Hopi dictionary (makes sense).

When I explained the alphabet to my husband and showed him how to write his name using it he said, “That’s so Mormon.”