What Do Boxing, Romance And Water Have In Common?

by Kimberly A. Cook                     (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Those are the topics of the current books I’m reading. Seems no matter how I try, I’ve always got a rather eclectic reading list. At breaks at the day job I’m reading “Blows To The Head – How Boxing Changed My Mind,” by Binnie Klein.

Is this a great book cover or what? Girls box too!

Is this a great book cover or what? Girls box too!

Came across the title on Amazon.com while I was doing research on using speed bags. My Dad trained me on a boxing speed bag he set up in the basement when I was growing up. Loved the rhythm and sound of the bag going back and forth. Dad did some boxing in the Army, including aboard a Navy ship on his way overseas during World War II.

He taught me how to hold my arm straight, not bend my wrist and punch the mauve leather Everlast bag. With the onset of flabby upper arms and bingo wings, I’d been researching to try it again. (FYI – Tons of boxing instruction videos on YouTube.)

This non-fiction book is written by a middle-aged therapist who takes up boxing lessons. She explores how it changes her thought processes and views on life. Great read!

Before bed the book I’m reading now is “Life Drawing For Beginners,” by Roisin Meany. Stumbled upon this gem while cruising the books at Target. Love to find new authors on their shelves. It’s fiction about a group of students taking an art class and how their lives intertwine. Only started this last night, but enjoying it so far.

Last but not least on deck is the non-fiction, “Blue Mind – The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do,” by Wallace J. Nichols. How’s that for a secondary title? This is part of my plan to figure out  how to get more trips to Maui and claim it on taxes as research. It’s a goal! Or to fire up that little fake candle water fountain for my office; perhaps more realistic.

So right now I have boxing, romance and water on my reading plate.  To write we must read. What’s on your reading list?

1 Comment

Filed under Creativity

Who Is Your Snuggle Bunny?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

The leaves are throwing themselves off the trees and the temperature is heading lower. With tons of Halloween candy in the store, thoughts turn to snuggling and baked goods. These two guys seem to be old friends and are enjoying a leisurely cuddle on the floor.

Wishing you all warm snuggles and furry friends this coming weekend. Happy Quirky Friday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Have You Taken A Pumpkin Photo Break?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

This time of year I dread the coming of the dark season. To distract myself, besides imagining writing I can get done on rainy days and baking tons of cookies, taking pictures with Fall light becomes my passion. Trying to catch the last rays of the year and the amber light is an exercise in patience and quick draw with a camera.

Since I always have a camera with me, besides my cell phone camera with no zoom, it becomes a game to see where and when I can capture the waning golden light of the season.

A herd of pumpkins waiting at sunset to be taken home and carved.

A herd of pumpkins waiting at sunset to be taken home and carved.

This first picture I had to take last week while grocery shopping. I’d only stopped for a few things, but I couldn’t resist the golden light on the pile of pumpkins outside the grocery store.

Since I long ago got over what anyone thought who might see me taking pictures of produce, life is good. Lately I’ve even taken pics of some great displays inside retail stores, since many are works of art.

So if it’s not pumpkins, then leaves are a big deal this time of year. This next picture I snapped after work at the day job. In the parking lot! One does not have to be in exotic locations to get great photos. There are several malls and one post office where I’m always watching the trees and plants because they are great for close-ups.

Sun slipping into the night - over the parking lot.

Sun slipping into the night – over the parking lot.

So, if it were not for the dratted cross walk sign you can barely see in the bottom right corner, people might think this blissful scene was way out in the woods, not surrounded by asphalt. Look around for big and small details this season. For Pete’s sake look UP too.

We have the first big rain storm coming in today after a summer of high temperatures. So while we all huddle inside and work on our creative projects, clean things out and plan the killer list of fun baking projects for the holidays, remember to take some great pictures.

You never know what you might want to send on a holiday card or in a family newsletter. Try something out of the ordinary. Let’s all celebrate the season of photography!

 

Isn't he cute? Happy Halloween photo hunting!

Isn’t he cute? Happy Halloween photo hunting!

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

Are You A Cat Lover? The Cat Daddy Is Back!

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

One of my favorite tv shows is “My Cat From Hell” with Jackson Galaxy, aka the Cat Daddy. A new season starts Saturday night at 8 p.m. on Animal Planet. Yeah! I even have Jackson’s book, “Cat Daddy,” which explains how a cat saved his life.

The show is so interesting because it shows how 9 times out of ten it is the humans with issues, not the cat. The cat is reacting to the untrained people. Luckily, Spec Ops Cats did a thorough job of training me, so life is good when I follow his rules.

If you don’t have Animal Planet, the show now has their own YouTube channel and you can watch past seasons online! Check out why Jackson does this work below. Adopt! Spay and neuter! Save the kitties!

http://snagplayer.video.dp.discovery.com/877107/snag-it-player.htm?auto=no

Leave a comment

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Have You Hugged A Goat Today?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

One of my favorite industries is agri-tourism; visiting locations where food products are made. While in Maui we visited the Surfing Goat Dairy upcountry and had a great time.

These talented goats practice their water moves on surfboards in their play area, plus they produce amazing milk which is used for fabulous cheese and truffles! We took the tour of the grounds and got to feed the goats and taste a wide variety of cheeses. Heaven!

IMG_1672

Boy goat and his girls at Surfing Goat Dairy – their surfboards in the back!

Of course, I had to buy several items in the gift shop and came home with a special Surfing Goat Dairy apron to use in my own cooking adventures. One can only imagine the trouble I can get myself into if I try to surf and cook; goats are better balanced in all areas than moi.

Besides the nirvana of one day hoping to tour the Hershey factories back East, there are many chances for all of us to support local farmers and growers while filling our tummies. Right now is harvest time so check around and see what food adventures you can have in your own backyard.

IMG_1658

Goat milk truffle heaven on Maui….just leave me here…..

Support your local goats!

Link to the dairy: http://www.surfinggoatdairy.com

Last but not least: A 10 minute video about the Surfing Goat Dairy, in case you can’t wait to get to Maui. There is a part 2 on YouTube for my fellow cheese making freaks! Hug a goat today!

Leave a comment

Filed under Food

Can You Water Ski Like Twiggy?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

We’re heading into a glorious weather weekend here in Oregon, 80 degrees and no smoke, high humidity or scalding temps. What will we all be doing? Heading for the water and picnics to enjoy this blessed gift of great weather.

What better way to send us off on the weekend than getting tips from Twiggy the water skiing squirrel. This athlete not only water skis, he watches the spectators, grooms himself, goes one hand only and hands free while on his ride. What a performer!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

2 Comments

Filed under Quirky Fridays

Do You Know Where Your Favorite Author Likes To Travel?

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Writers get around. The world. Literally. Seems us scribes are vagabond souls who have to see, hear and experience many different scenes and lands to keep our muses happy. One of the items I spied on the archive list before I went to Maui this month was a letter from Samuel Clemens. Whoa. Mark Twain!

Picture of copy of Mark Twain letter in the archive file of the Maui Historical Society.

Picture of copy of Mark Twain letter in the archive file of the Maui Historical Society.

It was the first file I looked at in the basement of the Bailey House Museum of the Maui Historical Society. Now, even decked out in my white cotton archive gloves, I got to handle copies of the letter, not the original.

This is because the original letter was found in the papers of Rodney C. Heaton’s grandfather’s effects. Being the chairman of the Harvard Historical Commission, he felt the Society would like a copy to learn more about Mark Twain’s visit to Maui.

Imagine! I have yet to closely read the copy I had made, but it is so fun to look at. Dated April 26, 1866, Twain writes about making sure they don’t hike Haleakala without him.

Twain spent four months in Maui in 1866 as a correspondent for the Sacramento “Union” newspaper at the ripe age of 31. He had just started using his pen name of Mark Twain.

A great little book I picked up at the Museum Gift Shop, “Mark Twain in Hawaii – Roughing It In The Sandwich Islands,” is my current reading material. Seems Twain never returned to the islands after his trip, but he always loved and remembered them.

When I consider the ship travel and the time period, it all amazes me. Gives one cause to pause since both Mark Twain and I were in the same town on Maui, many years apart. How cool is that?

Any idea where your favorite authors might have travelled? Have you visited their creative spaces? Road trip!

2 Comments

Filed under Writing Muse