Thankful Thursday: I Say I Can!

Recently I started reading Who Says You Can’t? You Do by Daniel Chidiac. I have only read the first three chapters so far but it is an interesting read. The book is all about shaping your destiny, discovering your true self, and committing to your own life.

The third chapter is entitled “The Certainty of Appreciation.” This chapter talks a lot about getting yourself into a state of gratitude everyday and the author challenges you to write what he calls a “gratitude list”. It is a lot like a letter to the Universe (or God or any other higher being) to express the things that you appreciate about yourself as well as anything outside yourself that has meaning and contributes to your life.

I really like the idea of a “gratitude list.” It also ties in with a lot of the ideas and practices that I have been trying to incorporate into my personal and spiritual growth. Last night I sat down and wrote mine and I am excited about reading and reflecting my list as part of my morning ritual!

Thank you for being alive.

Thank you for being caring and generous; thank you for being kind hearted; thank you for being open-minded; thank you for being intelligent and resourceful; thank you for being easily amused and quick to smile; thank you for being honest and respectful; thank you for being grateful.

Thank you for my family, friends, and cats; thank you for my peaceful sanctuary; thank you for the opportunities to live my life; thank you for the clean air to breathe and the clean water to drink and the nourishing food to eat; thank you for the plants and the animals; thank you this working body; thank you for my five senses; thank you for all the experiences I have had; thank you for the freedom to grow and be myself; thank you for the light and the energy within me; thank you for this beautiful life.

I am here. I am alive.

Thank you.


¡Viva la Revolución!

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

~ Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

For me, 2011 has been the year of post-apocalyptic and dystopian future fiction.  I have quickly learned to love this particular genre after a few great novels captured my heart!  Recently I also found out that one of the stories is being made into a movie!  This news made my day and the trailer gave me chills!

The Hunger Games – Official Theatrical Trailer

I cannot wait until March!

If you haven’t heard of The Hunger Games, it is the first novel of a dystopian, science fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  I have heard the books described as fantastic, breathless, compelling, and brutal.  They are all those things and more, and I can’t recommend them enough.  Here’s the blurb from Goodreads.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games books are not the only post-apocalyptic novels I am in love with though!  I am very excited about Jacqueline Carey’s sequel to Santa Olivia and hoping for news of a third book in Maria V. Snyder’s Insider series.  Click on the photos of the book covers below for more information:

I foresee my self re-reading these novels again soon!

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

A Few of My Favorite Things

Think Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music …

A burned spy in Miami with a .40 caliber
Yummy tomato mixed with cucumber
An epic fantasy with too many kings
These are a few of my favorite things

The rhyming isn’t perfect, but it works for this post.  I figured I would share a few of my current addictions.

First up…

“My name is Michael Westen.  I used to be a spy…”

I love this show.  I am not quite as thrilled with the newest season as I have been with past seasons, but it only just started.  It should be especially interesting to see what happens with Mike and Fi.  Their relationship is nothing if not complicated!

My next favorite thing has also been turned into a TV show, but I am hooked on the books.

George R.R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series is amazing thus far.  I recently finished Game of Thrones and I am now about a quarter of the way through A Clash of Kings.  This series is not quite like anything else I have ever read before.  I am really not even sure how to describe it, so here is what Wikipedia says about it:

The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world, primarily upon a continent called Westeros but also on a large landmass to the east, known as Essos.[5] Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses other races are introduced, such as the cold and menacing Others from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both races thought to be extinct by the people of the story. There are three principal storylines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros among several competing families; the rising threat of the Others, who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros’ northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war 15 years previously, to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, all three storylines become increasingly interwoven and dependent on each other.

If you are interested in seeing what it is about, but not quite sure you want to read the books, you can check out the TV series Game of Thrones on HBO.  The first season followed the first book quite well, although I found the books a bit easier to follow.  There are a ton of characters!

I can’t wait to see what happens with Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and Gendry “The Bull”!

Lastly, we come to my latest favorite snack.

I call it tomato salad for lack of a better name.  It is simple and delicious.  Just mix sliced grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, diced red onion, feta cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Yum!

A word of caution though… Keep an eye out for “helpers” when you are preparing your ingredients!