Things to get excited about

I’ve had a pretty happy day today. A cold (relatively, it is Houston afterall… so 40s has seemed frigid) and drizzly day, made for a good “stay home and get things done” day. I managed to conquer piles of dirty clothes and dishes and attack the ever growing t0-do list. My parents and I hit Walgreens, where we found great deals on Christmas stuff on clearance (can’t beat 75% off!) and other sale items. We’re pretty amazing when it comes to coupons and buy-one-get-one-free offers. haha

My sister had me drive her to both Barnes & Noble and Borders to find a birthday gift for one of her friends. I really love those stores and could spend all day wandering around them! I bought the January issue of Oprah’s magazine, hopefully to inspire myself to get my rear back in gear for the new year and stop gaining weight (!). Browsing a shelf of new books, my eyes lit up (and I’m pretty sure I let out a small scream) when I saw Mark Bittman’s name on a hardback non-cookbook. Yes, Bittman has written another book, this one is called “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating”. It looks a lot like the lecture of his I watched that talked about food and agriculture’s role in global warming, and how we can change our diet to help the planet. I highly recommend watching the lecture – you’ll learn a lot! Anyway, I am a huge fan of Mark Bittman – his “How to Cook Everything” has become my food go-to authority (and I have the vegetarian edition too!), and I read his blog regularly. When I saw this book on the shelf I knew I had to have it. Plus, Santa so thoughtfully gave me a Borders gift card in my stocking, so how could I say no? I’ll give you an update when I finish the book. 

Postcrossing is my new exciting obsession. It’s a website that allows you to send and receive postcards from people all over the world. It’s free to join, and for every postcard that you send to someone, your address is sent out to another postcrosser around the world. So far, I have 2 addresses to write to: a young Swiss guy who lives in Finland, and a 26 year old woman in Ohio. I’m so excited to get these cards sent out so I can receive my own from someone. I don’t know that I’ve ever bought postcards here in my own hometown before though, where does one even go to get them? I may as well invest in bulk postcards, since I’ll be sending out a bunch overtime. My Finnish pal is #48 in Finland for the amount of postcards sent – he’s mailed out over 400! Interestingly enough, more postcards have been sent from Finland than any other country. I haven’t investigated this matter enough to know if the project started there, or if Finnish people are just really into postcard writing….

And my third thing to get excited about (I know… so much excitement for one post!) is In2Books, a group that allows adults to mentor elementary-school children through the internet as they read books together. Volunteering is definitely one of my goals for 2009 – that is, to do more volunteer projects than I have been doing lately, and this sounds like something I’d love. I’ve signed up and paid for my background check, and now have to wait until I am matched up with a pen pal. Then, I’ll be reading the book(s) that my pen pal is reading in school, and corresponding with him/her about the books. The classes that participate in the program said it really motivates the kids to read and increases their interest, knowing that they will be conversing with their mentor. We become somewhat of role models to them… how exciting :) Some little kid is going to have an RD2B as their mentor… maybe we’ll have a food book to read? haha. I can’t even remember too much about what I read in 3rd-5th grade, probably animal books, that was always popular. 

That’s all my exciting news for tonight! Now, back to my chai tea and kakuro puzzles :)

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