Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Busy Momma's Summer Reading List 2015

So yesterday I gave you guys a big list of summer reading suggestions. I am 100% confident that at least  one of those titles will tickle your fancy. As many of you know, reading is my thing. I love to read. It relaxes me, it makes me happy and it forces me to SLOW down. Many of you have asked me how I manage to read SO much while...well, while being a real "busy momma". And I feel like a bit of a cheater here, but it's the truth. I don't read all of these books. I listen to many of them! My job requires that I am in the car for several hours a day, and while Sirius XM has truly revolutionized my life, there is only so much Entertainment Weekly, Jenny McCarthy and Just Jenny a gal can listen to in one day. So I ALWAYS have a book on my phone. Right now I am listening to Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time. It passes the time and makes traffic tie-ups a bit more bearable.

Many of us have retail kryptonite. For some of us it is shoes, others have trouble holding themselves back at the MAC counter and still others we know have hundreds of purses. And while I admit - I have way too many shoes, bags and tubes of lipstick- my book collection is out of control. One would think that eBooks would be the solution to my problem, and eBooks have been great. Except that I am running out of room on my Kindle, iPad and phone for my e and audiobooks. And there is this little quirk I have - if the book is non-fiction, I must have it in paper. I have to be able to flag, highlight and write in a non-fiction book. It is a sickness, I know. But you know what, if an addiction to books is my worst vice, I am ok with that!!! So, I ask you to join me in my addiction this summer. Hopefully this post or my last post will inspire you to take a trip to the library, check out a great book and take a few hours to relax and escape this summer....so without any further ado - here are a few of the books in MY pool bag.......
Did you read Gone Girl? Well, I think Luckiest Girl Alive is going to be this summer's big, twisty
hit. At least that's what I have read. Jessica Knoll introduces us to Ani FanElli, a successful, beautiful woman who seems to have it all. But what the reader soon finds out is that in addition to the killer wardrobe and wealthy fiance, Ani has a secret. And it promises to be a whopper!

Ever since I sat and read Saint Maybe in one sitting, I have been a HUGE Anne Tyler fan. Tyler has a way of capturing the American family- their triumphs and failings- in a way that anyone can relate to. She creates characters that everyone can recognize to and sympathize with. My ability to relate to her characters is, no doubt, also due to the fact that all of her books are set in my beloved Baltimore! A Spool of Blue Thread is Tyler's newest offering. It follows the Whitfield family through 4 generations of highs and lows, victories and defeats. I am really looking forward to opening this one and getting to know what promises to be another unforgetable Baltimore family.
My girl has done it again! After going through an epic battle with breast cancer, Elin Hilderbrand is back on top - cancer free and back on track with her newest novel: The Rumor. This one promises to be great and to touch a nerve with those of us who live in or grew up in a small town. In her latest, Hilderbrand examines how gossip, specifically rumors, get started, spread like wildfire and affect everyone in their wake. This one should be delivered on June 16th and I can't wait!!! Just in time for MY summer vacation.
Another one that I am patiently waiting for is Jennifer Weiner's new novel - Who do You Love? I am going to be 100% honest here - when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I clicked "pre-order" before I even read the description of the book. That is how much I LOVE Jennifer Weiner! And now that I know what this book is about - I can't WAIT to read it! Our 2 main characters - Rachel and Andy - meet for the first time when they are 8 years old in a hospital Emergency Room waiting room. The book follows them over the next 30 years as their paths cross over and over again. This looks like a story that examines fate, and the questions so many struggle with: is there really a type of love that is just "meant to be" and is there really one true soulmate for each of us? This one comes out in August - so it should be a nice end-of-summer treat.
I know, I know - totally predictable. But what book lover has NOT ordered this one? I must admit, after the reports in the news that Harper Lee never meant for this manuscript to be released, I hesitated. Is the release of Go Set a Watchman an example of elder abuse and unadulterated greed? I am still struggling with this question. If Lee truly wanted this manuscript published, one would think that it would have been published long ago - right? Hmmm - I don't know. She was so famously reclusive, perhaps she did want it published but didn't want the hoop-la that would have inevitably come with it? I don't know, I really don't. What I do know is that To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic, required reading in my house. I am so curious to see who Scout grew up to be and what Atticus is like in his golden years. Will there be any surprises? Will the unrest and shifting cultural norms of the 1960s change these beloved characters? If so, how will readers respond? We will have all of our answers on July 14th.....
I am going to be very honest with you guys about this one - normally, it wouldn't even be on my radar. I am not interested in the sport of rowing - sorry Fifi - and I am not particularly interested in this period in time. HOWEVER, it made the list because so many of YOU have suggested it to ME! So it is in the beach bag, waiting to be read. So many of you cannot be wrong - so I'll give it a try!
So, you might remember my review of Jenny Lawson's first book: Let's Pretend this Never Happened. I read it on the beach at Gull Pond in Cape Cod and I laughed SO much that I cried. I was afraid that the pond regulars wouldn't let me back the next day. I was laughing like a wild hyena - she is SO SO funny, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to laugh! Many of you know Lawson from her hysterical blog: The Blogess. Her most popular post is a classic - it is about the day she bought a GIGANTIC metal chicken, named her Beyonce and brought her home as a gift to her ever-suffering husband, Victor. I am laughing as I type. In Furiously Happy, Lawson once again delves into her crazy life...but this time with a bit more emphasis on the "crazy". Despite her incredible sense of humor, there is serious, serious stuff that Lawson deals with on a daily basis - namely bipolar depression. Lawson talks about taking your everyday ordinary - even if it is tinged with a bit of bipolar depression- and making it extraordinary. Because after all - we've all got something. Isn't that awesome???
This one also comes from a recommendation from a few of you. It is set in World War II and is about 2 sisters who make very different choices while the world is at war. This one is about the impossible choices so many women had to make during the war and how those choices affected who they became and who and how they chose to love.
This is actually the next one I am reading. I met one of the authors - Dr. Juli Dixon - a few weeks ago. This is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. Juli's daughter got sick one day, like all of our kids do. But she didn't get better - she got worse...and worse and worse. And just as things looked like they couldn't get much worse - they did. Juli's daughter had a stroke that left her with serious brain damage. For many of us, that might be the end of our story. But for Juli and her family, it was just the beginning of theirs. This is the story of how a family took a nightmare and turned it around into a happy ending. Juli is a super-cool lady and I am truly looking forward to reading this one. It is available on amazon.com.
As if that is not enough....here are a few more that are on my list.....

Will I read them all by Labor Day? Who knows? But I know that I will enjoy the effort!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading 2015

Summer is here my friends! (Well, almost here. Busy Momma has 19 more days of school lunches to make and then...well, I guess I'll be making pool lunches!) Memorial Day has come and gone, we can wear our white jeans and our sandals. And you know what that mean for Busy Momma - Summer Reading! It is time to get our read-on Peeps!This is my FAVORITE post of the year. It represents everything I love about summer - a relaxed schedule, time spent outdoors, getting lost in a good story....a vacation from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. This year, I am splitting the post in half. Today's post focuses on the books I've read this year that I KNOW will make excellent summer reading for anyone who loves to read. The next post is based on MY summer reading list. Basically it's a list of the books burning a hole in my Kindle, just demanding to be read! So - without any further ado....Busy Momma suggests:
As I have already written about this one, I will be brief. Read it. Seriously. It is that good. It is a murder mystery that will keep you up late at night, turning the pages to see if your theory is right! The main character is a woman who travels to work via commuter train. Her train slows everyday while passing the home of a young, beautiful, upwardly mobile couple. Our heroine begins making up little stories about this couple - she gives them names, jobs, personality traits and creates little stories about them to pass her time on the train.When the reality of what she begins to see doesn't match the perfect scenarios she creates in her head, things get interesting. Someone dies and we spend the entire novel trying to figure out who done it and WHY? I LOVED this book and I am making it my #1 suggestion for this summer.  
If you like a little history and a little supernatural mixed in with a good mystery - you have found your series. The Tradd Street Mysteries by Karen White are terrific. Karen White writes about historical homes in Charleston, North Carolina, and the people who inhabit and inhabited them. White is one of those authors who can take a setting - like the majestic Charleston, NC- and make the city itself a character in her books.Her main character, Melanie Middleton, is a smart, sassy, highly-organized high-end real estate agent. She specializes in historical homes and is always number 1 at whatever she decides to do. But Mellie has a secret....not only can she see the value in historic houses, she can also see, hear and interact with their previous owners...even the ones who owned the homes hundreds of years ago! Throughout the four books in the Tradd Street series, we get to know Melanie and the eccentric cast of characters that round out her life. I read all 4 mysteries back-to-back and honestly couldn't put them down. I am really hoping that White continues writing about Melanie and the gang because I would love to know what happens to them all next!
If you, like me, are one of the only people who has not yet read this book or seen this movie, shame on you! Just kidding. When Julianne Moore won the Oscar for her portrayal of the title character in this amazing novel, I decided to read it before I saw it. And I am so glad that I did! This is one of the best books I have ever read. In Still Alice, Lisa Genova paints an incredibly vivid and realistic picture of the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease. Alice is a celebrated professor of linguistics at Harvard who is stricken with early-onset Alzheimer's around her 50th birthday. While not the "feel good" novel of the summer, it is unforgettable. Genova's ability to capture Alice's descent into this unforgiving and brutal disease is truly remarkable. 
I'm nothing if not loyal....so when I finished Still Alice, I noticed that Genova had just published another novel - Inside the O'Briens. This one is reminiscent of Still Alice, as it takes us inside of another brutal disease - Huntington's disease. Again, while not the feel good novel of the summer, the author's ability to capture the ravages of a degenerative disease while documenting how her characters live with these death sentences is brilliant. You do not leave these families feeling depressed. You leave them feeling a little triumphant, because while you know the ultimate outcome for these characters, you also know that the characters have ultimately defeated their diseases by the way they lived with them, not by how they will die from them.
If you have been following my blog and reading these posts you know that I love anything written by Elin Hilderbrand. Winter Street is Elin's newest book and is the first in a trilogy about The Winter Street Inn and the family who owns it. The Winter Street Inn is a beloved B&B on Nantucket, owned by a former Wall Street big-wig Kelly Quinn and his eccentric wife, Mitzy. Hilderbrand weaves a story around Kelly, his four grown children and his ex-wife who happens to be one of the most beloved and well-respected television journalists in the country. I will warn you that the book ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you on the edge of your seat, begging for more! The sequel should be out by November 2015 - so if you get hooked, you won't have to wait too long!
Ok - confession time - I am not finished with this one! But I am about halfway through and I am loving it, so I feel confident putting this one on the list. I think this one was on last year's list, but I just got around to it. If you are a Picoult fan you've probably already read this one, but if not - pick it up. The main character is Jenna Metcalf, a 13 year-old girl searching for the mother who "abandoned" her 10 years ago. The mother, Alice Metcalf, was a prominent elephant researcher who along with her husband lived on and worked on an elephant preserve in New Hampshire. Alice disappeared after a tragic and mysterious accident on the elephant preserve and Jenna just doesn't believe that her mother would voluntarily leave her. She enlists the help of a washed-out tv psychic and a battered and broken ex-detective to help prove her theory and find her mother. 
And finally - Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is an absolute delight. If you liked the movie Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, pick this one up and tuck it in the pool bag. In Garden Spells, Allen introduces us to the Waverly family and their "special" garden. The Waverly women have long been famous in their Bascom, North Carolina town for their "eccentricities" and "gifts". They are witches! Clare Waverly is an extremely successful caterer who seems to be able to match flowers and herbs from her garden with her clients' needs and desires. When her rebellious sister returns home with a daughter of her own, Clare's carefully constructed life is turned upside down! While not a finalist for the Pulitzer, this is a lovely, easy read perfect for the pool, the lake or the beach. I can't wait to start the sequel: First Frost.
Ok - that's it for today my friends. The next post will focus on the books in MY pool bag for the summer of 2015......

Friday, May 22, 2015

Glass Houses

Oh yes - we're going there this morning. This guy - Josh Duggar - sex offender, pervert, hypocrite - is in the news today. The oldest Duggar - you know - those super-syrupy sweet conservative people with 19 Kids...and Counting? 
You know - these circus freaks? 
Well, by now, we've all heard the SHOCKING news - oldest son Josh has admitted to MOLESTING young girls - including some of HIS SISTERS and other girls. The family has come out and made very well crafted statements, no doubt written by PR heavyweights paid for by TLC. Josh has resigned from his position as Executive Director of  The Family Research Council. 

I use the word "shocking" in the previous paragraph in a satirical and ironic context. How many of these GUYS - you know the ones that I am referring to - the ones who use their "religion" to spew hate and justify discrimination against non-traditional families and the LGBT community- have been caught with their pants down? Many of them LITERALLY with their pants down around their ankles in airport or bus station bathrooms engaging in the type of sexual behavior that they have been condemning in the media. 

WHY WHY WHY??????  Members of the Family Research Council and Josh Duggar have gone on the record saying that LGBT people are a "danger" to children. A "DANGER TO CHILDREN". That is rich coming from a closeted child molester . What kind of psychosis convinces a man who MOLESTED HIS OWN SISTERS that he is morally superior to others? That he has a right to condemn other people for their sexual preferences or lifestyle choices? What convinces this person's PARENTS that putting their ridiculously controversial family on TELEVISION is a GOOD IDEA? Maybe if it was a show devoted to the rehabilitation of sexual predators I could see their logic. But their show is about how wonderful and good and wholesome their lifestyle is. WTF???

I am so angry about this. The sheer hypocrisy is infuriating. I don't blame the parents for the child's behavior, I really don't. But I question their judgement when it comes to putting themselves on television to be held up as some sort of moral bar or standard that the rest of American families should strive to meet. The real monster in this story is Chester the Molester himself. Not like the actual molestation isn't appalling enough.
It is. But what is almost just as appalling is this guys belief that he is somehow MORALLY superior to others and has a right to pass judgement on people who do not believe in his conservative beliefs. What kind of psycho stands up in front of people, makes a CAREER out of discrimination and judging others, KNOWING that the skeleton in his closet is FAR scarier than the implications of same sex marriage. 

I need to stop writing about this now - it is making my head hurt. I am so angry. I have never liked the Duggars. I do not agree with their philosophy on child bearing and child rearing. I do not ascribe to their moral beliefs and values. And honestly, I find them all super annoying and fake. But I've always felt that they have a right to live their beliefs, to talk about them and as long as their lifestyle doesn't hurt anyone else - rock on.  Josh Duggar's life is ruined. His wife's life is ruined. His kids will always live with the stigma that their dad is a child molester. Whether he has ruined the money machine that is "19 Kids and Counting" remains to be seen. No good ever comes out of these situations. 

But maybe, just maybe, one person who is watching this ship sink might stop and think before he or she spews some hate. Maybe one person will stop and think about the glass house he or she is living in before they pick up that stone. And if that happens, I guess Josh Duggar HAS done something good for the order.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ribgate 2015

Hi Peeps. So, Busy Momma has a problem...well, that's kind of an understatement. She has lots and lots of problems...but the most pressing issue is that Busy Momma is broken. And I don't mean that in a cool, deep, dark and twisty broken on the inside kind of way. I mean broken - as in LITERALLY broken - like I have broken pieces and parts.  Seriously. I keep injuring myself. And I wish I could say something cool about these injuries, like: "Yeah, I took a tumble while I was training for the Iron Man I'm doing in June." Or, even something like: "That zombie was much faster than I thought a zombie could be! Thank God I outran him, even if I did break my ankle getting away from him." But I can't. I can't say anything cool about my injuries because I am in no way athletic at all. (And Zombies don't exist.) Hence, my injuries would NEVER be caused by anything remotely resembling an athletic event or an escape from a zombie apocalypse.

 My latest injury is a broken rib - which I sustained yesterday at work. A broken rib hurts like a BIOTCH by the way. I suggest avoiding breaking ribs at all costs.
 The cause, you ask? How on EARTH could busy Momma break a rib at work, you wonder? Isn't she a sales rep for a book company? Is she really a super hero at night? Book Girl to the rescue?

Nope, Sorry.

Is she using the whole Sales Rep thing as a cover for her actual job as an operative for the CIA?

Um - no, not so much.

Nope - nothing exciting like that my peeps. No, the cause of yesterday's disaster was much more mundane. My shoes and a rock came together to create what I am calling: 

Ribgate 2015. 
That's right - these beauties betrayed me. Yes, they might be beautiful. They might lift the fanny and elongate the leg, but they are no match for a small rock encountered in a crumbling parking lot. Once these bad girls step on a rock, they will turn your ankle like a doorknob. They will allow you to fall, ungracefully to the ground - in front of your boss- like a drunken frat girl. They will allow you to attempt to break your fall by flailing your arms out in front of you while you tumble onto your side and BREAK YOUR OWN RIB WITH YOUR ELBOW.

Oh yes, in attempting to save myself and shield my face - my moneymaker - from any and all injury - I broke my own freaking rib. And to make matters WORSE - I broke the rib DIRECTLY under my boob, so it feels like I broke my boob. Seriously - a broken boob. How sad is that? 

I wasn't going to get it XRayed, but my physical therapist told me that I had to.

Caught that, did ya?

 Physical therapist? Oh yes - I am in PT right now for Achilles Tendinitis. Another incredibly painful condition that I highly suggest avoiding at all costs. How did I manage to do that? Would you laugh if I told you it was another shoe related injury?
Yes, they are gorgeous. No support - but beauties none the less. But once again, these beauties are a bitch. They provide about as much support as a training bra and when you are pounding the pavement trying to sell a few books, you might want to wear something a bit sturdier.

Thanks to Therese, my life saving physical therapist, I did go and get an XRay. I trust her, as I've known her for YEARS. She's treated my hip for bursitis, a stress fracture or 3 oh and a labral tear. And she cured my Achillis Tendinitis last summer. 

I can't seem to stop breaking myself. My friends and family are frightened to do fun things with me. Seriously. No one will go horseback riding or inner tubing with me for fear of what part I will break. They need to think about issues like: how far away from civilization will we be if we take her with us? How many of us will be needed to carry her out of the woods and back to the car? Is there any scenario that we can think of where she might bleed out? Has anyone in history ever been known to break their lady parts?  Do we need to have a drill where we practice various rescue scenarios before we actually go somewhere with her?

I'm not kidding. I am beginning to feel like I need to wear bubble wrap...but then again....

Be careful out there my peeps!