August 19th, 2013

Status: Type-A with Nothing to Do

Zinio bookmark-1

In less than one week, my son will be starting ninth grade and, as much as it pains my type-A soul, I admit I was flummoxed. Where was the list of unfindable school supplies, the needed nagging to finish required summer reading or the last-minute dash to replace too-small cleats? The year I thought he would need me the most, the back-to-school routine turned into a blank to-do list.

Intoxicated by my first ever mall-free end of summer vacation, I dusted off the always handy auxiliary to-do list. At the top, highlighted and underlined, lay “cancel magazine subscriptions and download free magazines from the library.” Optimism shined as bright as the sun as I reclined on the porch and powered up.

Guilt-free, I opened up my Zinio app, primed to save a few dollars and explore the selection of periodicals. I plunged right in and what started as browsing soon became quite a binge. Only when the “what’s for dinner call” rang out did I realize that a whole new list of complicated, unwieldy projects had been added to my to-dos. I couldn’t have been happier.

To-Dos
Replace kitchen countertop—Family Handyman
Repurpose beer tap into garden fountain—Country Gardens
Lose belly fat in two weeks!—Shape
Try bacon-wrapped corn recipe—Food Network’s 50 Ways to Make Corn on the Cob
Start watching Duck Dynasty—US Weekly
Create all homemade Christmas gifts—Best Ideas for Christmas
Learn to crochet—Interweave Crochet
Plan 2014 summer vacation—Hawaii? National Geographic Traveler

What have you discovered in Zinio (and what’s on your to-do wish list because of it)?


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June 24th, 2013

Making My Escape Plan

Summer Vacation Itinerary

escape

DAY ONE

8am        Flight to San Juan
Youngest son props giant Civil War book as a makeshift pillow on your shoulder for the four hour flight. Book is a 400-page hardcover.

1pm        Car Rental Counter
Husband finds out all rental cars are now “smoke free” for which, it seems, you are personally responsible.

2pm        Hotel by the Beach
Letting your 20-year-old son pack his own suitcase results in no swimsuit and no flip flops. Your slow burn is effectively ignited by his category 5 sulk upon learning the hotel has no Wi-Fi.

2:05pm   Contemplation of escape plan begins. Resources consulted include:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Once renowned L.A. architect Bernadette Fox finds both the people and weather of Seattle eroding her sanity. Attempting to plan a long promised family trip to Antarctica hilariously derails, as Bernadette is forced to ever more eccentric means of hiding her agoraphobia. Bewildered by his wife’s behavior, Microsoft guru Elgin Branch attempts a mental health intervention during which Bernadette mysteriously disappears. Compiled by her daughter, the story uses Internet postings, emails, magazine articles and FBI reports to trace Bernadette’s journey back to her family.

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
A 40 year old Baltimore woman strolls away from her family down a Delaware beach and vanishes into thin air. Following an impulse we have all felt, Delia creates a new life. But is it a better one?

Escape by Barbara Delinsky
Once an idealistic young lawyer, Emily finds herself slowly suffocating in a New York City corporate cubicle. At her breaking point, she turns off her Blackberry, steals her husband’s car and returns to the small town that changed her life one college summer to rediscover and renew old relationships.

The As If Principle by Richard Wiseman
Through experiments and case studies, Wiseman makes a case for letting your actions shape your emotions when seeking change in your relationships.

Secret Journeys of a Lifetime by Keith Bellows
From island getaways to undiscovered villages, a photo filled trip planner from National Geographic.

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DAY TWO

10am        Snorkeling excursion by sailboat
It appears you and sailboats do not get along. Youngest son holds bag of ice to the back of your neck as husband and oldest son pack water and a book into the boat’s dinghy which takes you to white sand, deserted beach. Spend afternoon collecting sea glass and swimming in warm, clear water. Decide to temporarily mothball escape plan.

What do you read when you just can’t take it anymore?