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Fri, Nov 28, 2014

BRAGG: Retaliate against stress by reading

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Happy New Year, and I hope things are going well for everyone.

My husband, Tommy, and I celebrated the New Year by going to bed at 10:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve – for the third year in a row.

I didn’t even record Dick Clark watching the ball drop in Times Square, so I must really be getting old.

But I did sleep late the next morning and most “really old” people I know get up really early, so maybe I’m not totally over the hill.

Last year, I wrote about lots of malfunctions with our things: car brakes needing repair, two houses needing new roofs, replacing two air conditioning units, and so on.

Though it’s only four days into January as I write, 2012 isn’t looking much better.

Monday was a holiday and by Wednesday:

1) We had to have a plumber work on a six-month-old faucet because it was constantly dripping and keeping us awake. The plumber wasn’t gone two hours before it started dripping again.

Truthfully, I think it will be covered by warranty but haven’t gone through the paperwork to check it out.

2) We trapped a “juvenile” raccoon in the attic.

I failed to mentioned that we spent an exorbitant amount of money in 2011 trying to keep squirrels and other varmints out of our attic – an exorbitant amount. This raccoon – our latest culprit – found its way into the warmth despite all the work that’s been up there; it even “outfoxed” the squirrels.

There is evidence that yet another yet critter is up there (the bait is gone but trap is empty) so this hunt isn’t over yet. And I don’t think I mentioned that last year one of the workers trapping them fell through our ceiling.

I must say that did a wonderful job restoring it back.

3) The icemaker, which was repaired last month after it flooded the basement, is off to the shop again.

4) The battery on my car died this morning.

5) The new camera I got for Christmas stopped after 20 photos saying “Out of Memory,” even though the instruction manual said that no external memory device is needed except for movies.

It may be the beginning of a very long year.

I read once that “If money can fix it, you don’t need to worry about it, ” a theory I heartily endorse. But somewhere in the mix comes the matter of inconvenience.

The inconvenience involved in dealing with these issues takes a lot of pleasure out of stopping to smell the roses.

I’ve decided to retaliate by reading.

I haven’t read one whole book since Thanksgiving (when all the “games” began) but picked up several this week at Linebaugh Library and plan to hunker down on the back porch and bury myself in them.

First in line is “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles. My sisters, who enjoy reading the same things as I, have told me it’s very good and classic in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald. That sounds like just the thing to get me in the reading groove.

Next, I think I’ll reread “The Charm School” by Nelson DeMille.

If you haven’t read this book, it’s about anything but charm.

It’s been years since I read it the first time and want to get lost in the intrigue and suspense again.

The also I plan to read the young adult book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton.

I was on an airplane recently and the teenager next to me devoured this book; I know it’s an important piece for young readers (about gangs and cliques) and plan to see for myself – as I plan to do with “The Hunger Games.”

“The Hunger Games” was picked by Murfreesboro’s Read to Succeed organization as the “One Book” (to promote reading and literacy in Rutherford County) for 2012 and my (30-something) daughter Anne happened to be reading it before Thanksgiving and couldn’t put it down.

She and daughter Beth have since read the sequels and have truly enjoyed them.

I started it before Thanksgiving I haven’t finished it, but can see the reason for its vast appeal: It’s a different, provocative and page-turner.

I’ll finish that as soon as I can find my copy again.

Then I’ll be onto Sebastian Barry, Alexandra McQueen and Stephen King.

I forgot about Stephen King’s “11/22/63” until I saw it on the great new (to me) link on Linebaugh Library’s website.

Go to linebaugh.org and click on the colorful “Books to Read” icon on their homepage to see books that have recently been added. Some may appeal to you.

By using their online catalog (easily accessed from the site) you can put them on reserve if you have a library card.

The graphics are eye-popping and there is so much information there (ideas for Book Clubs, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc.) that you could get lost inside.

I’ve told my family to please not bother me while I’m in this reading mode; I’ve worked very hard to get here.

I’ve always said books can take me to another place and with everything else that’s been going on this week, “another place” sounds like an okay spot to be.

‘Til next week. MP
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Mrs. Murfreesboro
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Jeanne Bragg, Murfreesboro, Voices
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