Barbara: Time got the best of us and we didn’t have the opportunity to do one of the things we had wanted to do – go to the Heard Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary to visit the Texas Reptiles exhibit. I thought I’d do some Research into what would possess someone to have a Reptile for a pet. While there were a lot of reasons posted on the pro side (less costly, no need to walk them, etc.), I still couldn’t relate. Who could look at this face and say “that’s something I just can’t wait to cuddle”?

If you have a snake or other reptile in your house, please comment and let us know why you love it!

Laura: RICK Bragg: My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South.  I thoroughly enjoyed this September selection of the Non-Fiction Book Club to which I belong. Bragg’s sense of his people and home is so strong that you can’t help but be drawn into his world, gaining an up-close view of the South, its climate and cuisine. His observations of people in general and of mundane situations are hilarious, and he had me laughing and crying at various moments. Reading this book invoked a strong sense of nostalgia in me and I found myself transported back to my own people and place, to a childhood spent in New York, with loving parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, bountiful food, laughter, good-natured ribbing and some hilarious adventures. To my surprise, not everyone in the book club felt the same way, with a few strong dislikes. But just about everyone agreed that Rick Bragg has a beautiful way with words. This was my first Rick Bragg book, but it won’t be my last.


Barbara: More RETIREMENT. My Facebook friends might ask how I could possibly have more Retirement. As one commented: “Could you milk your Retirement anymore?” The answer is NO. I am pretty excited about it, although a little apprehensive as well. To go from a workaholic who is answering emails well into the evening to a woman of leisure with less than 10 legitimate emails a day is a frightening prospect. But people are reassuring me that I will never be bored. I’m starting to think they are Right as I already have a couple of freelance work assignments plus several organizations I am joining plus this blog (I did say I was Retiring, didn’t I?) Now I’m Raring to Reinvent myself!

Less REGRETS. Life is full of what ifs. What if I had gone back to live with my parents after college to save money so I could have been an Educational Psychologist? What if I had learned to swim when I was younger? What if Laura and I had been more aggressive when a publisher wanted to run with one of our ideas? But if I stop to think of how those what ifs would have played out, I realize that so many of the things I love about my life would never have happened. So I’m banishing Regrets from my world – except tonight when I have that delicious dessert at the restaurant and Regret it later; I’ll start tomorrow.

Laura: More REVISITING. Whether it’s watching an old movie or relearning a game, revisiting what once brought you happiness is a good thing. While adding new experiences is what the ABC Life is all about, there is comfort in the familiar and I need that – more than I realized. Hubby and I used to play backgammon often but somehow, over the years, our weekly matches slowly disappeared, pushed aside by busy schedules and other demands. So we’re dusting off the backgammon board and studying the Rules. With terminology such as “Raccoon” and “Railroad Tracks”, I can hardly wait to Restart!

Less RECIPES. No wait – I appreciate a good recipe. Why wouldn’t I…when I love to eat and enjoy cooking? But there are limits and in today’s information flow, there are just too many recipes out there. I feel like I am drowning in them. Surely my life would be simpler without having to look through every recipe that drops in my inbox or stares up from a magazine – and thus is born the 21 Recipe Roundup! I am on a mission to put together 21 tried and true recipes and then just cycle through them. That’s at least a month’s worth of recipes, when you figure in leftovers, dinners out and the occasional take-in urge. Those 21 recipes will simplify my life and just think how much time I’ll save not searching for another. If you have a tried and true recipe you’d be willing to share, just leave a comment and help this recipe wary woman!

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