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Archive for the ‘Book Club’ Category

Backpacking Around the World: Thank Heavens for Rolling Packs!

The Romance of Backpacking


I traded ‘suitcases’ with my eldest daughter recently. She returned home earlier and I was wanting to ‘travel light’ so sent her home with my rolling duffle and most of my clothes. Also, her backpack has tons of very cool patches from all of her exotic travels and well, I just wanted to see how it felt; to assume her pack.

It felt damn heavy actually, although I am very impressed with the construction of the pack itself.  Luckily I had read ‘Wild” and knew that a bed came in mighty handy for getting the darn thing on my back.  Also, luckily for me, later in the day, there was a muscular Seattle Seahawks fan who was able to help me on with it at the little cafe where I had lunch and once I returned to civilization, legions of cab drives and porters were available.

I now know that for my around the world backpacking trip I plan to take to celebrate retirement, I need to source an extra light, functional pack with wheels, possibly one that comes with a porter or with Reese Witherspoon.

Initial research completed, I shall drive into my final years of work.

peace out,




Women & Books: Sunday Mornings

On Sunday morning, I have a chance to catch up on my reading, download new books (this week in anticipation of an upcoming vacation) and leisurely peruse book lists and reviews. All this from the comfiness of bed bed, coffee (lightened with eggnog) in hand.

I have tended towards Canadian women authors and a current recommendation ‘How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir’ by Amber Dawn

Here is my current kindle bookshelf!


Women’s Book Club: The No Rules Book Club

Women’s Book Clubs

We have been meeting for over 15 years, regularly every 6-8 weeks.  We have shared each other’s lives, joys and sorrows but mostly we have laughed.  We say we have no rules, however, yes, we have read and discussed many books and I am pleased to say that my literary tastes have been refined in the process (la de dah).

Tonight I’m hosting book club and we are meeting on our sailboat in Granville Island in Vancouver.  The book for discussion is “Where Did You Go Bernadette?” by Maria Semple.

Not to detract from the discussion (my book club gal pals never read my blog, so no worries there), I loved this book.  I laughed out loud many times and could empathize with the main character, a brilliant, creative, often misunderstood mom suffering from depression and anxiety.

I mentioned the enjoyment of this book to a friend and we discussed how the culture in the Pacific  North West is relaxed, outdoorsy with doses of  hippiness and hipness thrown in.  She suggested I may enjoy the TV show “Portlandia”, which I am currently downloading.

I do so love the West Coast!




Women ~Life ~Wisdom: Women’s Book Clubs

It’s our book club tonight and I need to do some speed reading to finish the book, ‘The Water Man’s Daughter’ by Emma Ruby – Sachs

I am really enjoying the book and coincidentally, I’ll be at a workshop today where there will be discussions about families from this part of the world.

What has been illustrated for me so far, is ‘the butterfly effect’, how with every action there is a reaction.

At our book clubs, we do tend to have a tough time staying on task ie discussing the book and not only socializing. We have been meeting together for about 15 years are on the surface a very homogeneous group. Interesting though, there is a big difference in lived experience and values and this makes for a rich and invigorating discussion.

peace & hippie love for generations,



Women ~ Life ~ Friends: Books & A Surprising Discovery

Knowing that I would be leaving soon on a sailing holiday and may not have wifi access, I was determined to download significant quantities of literary fiction to my ipad.

I did a ‘call out’ on my personal facebook page for book suggestions and what evolved was an interesting and eclectic list of great recommendations.

As an aside… during my recent prenatal yoga teacher training, I found it rather trying to be spoken to loudly and in a well enunciated cadence by a perky twenty something (with 1 kid) prenatal yoga instructor who seemed to think that those  of us over 40 were not only older but hard of hearing. Judgments, judgements, judgments!

Suffice it to say that last night, I was very happy to see the book recommendations were from wise older women (and one guy who receives the distinction of being an honorary wise woman)!  I am thrilled with such a diverse selection of reading material and thanks to my ipad, bringing 20 books sailing is a possibility.

So, I will sail and blog and provide book reviews…

I usually have 3 – 4 books on the ‘go’ at any given time; 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction, 1 spiritually fulfilling and 1 general interest.

Currently, I am reading:

“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (fiction- love it so far, my fave section is about the cherries and family of psychologists)

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed (non-fiction – not sure about hiking that far by myself, yikes!)

Just finished:

“Mating in Captivity” by Esther Perel (personal growth and development – is monogamy really dead?)

which prompted me to read:

“The Enlightened Sex Manual” by David Deida (spiritual enlightenment and marriage saving)

OK, where was I?

Yes, aging in a culture that adores youthfulness in women is very humbling!

I shall immerse myself in stories of thrilling tales of wild women while sailing the Salish Sea!


in peace & mindfulness,



Questions I Am Asking & Books Still To Read

A pot pourri of questions & books:


1.  Is formal education redundant?

2.  How does one become a futurist?

3.  What the h e double hockey sticks happened to me on Tues?

Books to Read Next:

1.  ‘Shadow Elite’ by Janine Wedel

2. ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilberts

3.  ‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac

Currently Reading:

‘Gargoyle’ by Andrew Davidson

Exploring Mid-Life Spirituality: One Woman’s Thoughts

I recently read “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother Daughter Story” by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. This book is “a wise and engrossing book about feminine thresholds, spiritual growth, and the relationship between mothers and daughters” and I loved it!

The sections by the mom, Sue explore many facets of aging and deepening spirituality, while Ann’s chapters are lighter, exuberant and achingly truthful.

Being the mom of three daughters and personally going through many of the mid-life questioning and questing that Sue is doing, I am savoring this book as one would savor a big, round ripe pomegranate! I am finding a deepening and an enriching of my spirituality emerging with the reading. It also gives me distinct pleasure to be reading this book in an area of the western world that has welcomed Eastern spirituality and religious freedoms. Vancouver, with it’s partner city San Francisco, spawned the hippie movement, which provided a gateway for the emerging Eastern spirituality and the furthering of a differentiation between religion and spirituality

First, here are some definitions from Wikipedia ( ):

“Religion: A religion is a set of tenets and practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, and often codified as prayer, ritual, or religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience. The term “religion” refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.”

“Spiritual: Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and faith, a transcendent reality, or one or more deities. Spiritual matters are thus those matters regarding humankind’s ultimate nature and purpose, not only as material biological organisms, but as beings with a unique relationship to that which is perceived to be beyond both time and the material world. Spirituality also implies the mind-body dichotomy, which indicates a separation between the body and soul.

As such, the spiritual is traditionally contrasted with the material, the temporal and the worldly. A perceived sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality — connection to a metaphysical reality greater than oneself, which may include an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence, or such states as satori or nirvana. Equally importantly, spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health. Spirituality is the personal, subjective dimension of religion, particularly that which pertains to liberation or salvation.”

So, while spirituality may be connected to religion for some, it can also be the subjective sense of “a power greater than oneself, a sense of expansiveness, connection and awe” that is experienced outside the realm of organized religion. It is this sense of expansiveness and connection that guides hippy grandma to keep the hippy love flowing for generations so our children and our grandchildren and on and on, may also catch some star dust!

“The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched” – Henry David Thoreau

Enjoy your day.

peace, namaste & hippy love for generations,


My Top 10 Favorite Novels!

OK, so I actually squeezed in 11 books, however, here are the “Top 10/11 Novels” (not in order of preference), that have influenced my life and writing:

1.  “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2.   “House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende

3.  “A Prayer for Owen Meany” and “The World According to Garp” by John Irving

4.  “The Blind Assasin” by Margaret Atwood

5.  “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver

6.  “Loving Frank A Novel” by Nancy Horan

7.  “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley

8.  “Mexico” by James Mitchener

9.  “Possession” by A S. Byatt

10. “The Fifth Sacred Thing” by Starhawk

peace & namaste,


Spiritual Growth for Women: Zoey’s Top 7 Book Picks

Zoey’s Top 7 Book Picks:


Passionate Presence: Experiencing the Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness 

by Catherine Ingram

A Path With Heart: A Guide Through The Perils And Promises of Spiritual Life

by Jack Kornfield

A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

by Byron Katie

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

 by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose 

by Eckhart Tolle

A Woman’s Journey to God: Finding the Feminine Path

 by Joan Borysenko

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

by Pema Chodron

Enjoy these books my friends!

“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in beauty and joy each day.”

– Native American Proverb

in peace & mindfulness



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