Welcome to the second of a series. I'll be showing and telling you samples of what interested me enough to want to share. 

Book choice

One of the books I read this month was one recommended by a friend whose opinion I trust. I never read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. After reading City of Girls, I am sure it won't be my last book from this popular author. When it comes to fiction, I enjoy a story that isn't formula-driven and predictable, that's easy to read but not hackneyed, one with an accurate sense of time and place. If you are looking for a summer read, this one will keep you happily whiling time in the hammock or on the beach. You can read the reviews and see if it is your cup of tea as well. 

It sounds spooky and morbid, but I liked a book that was offered on Kindle for $1.99. The title is I've Seen Dead People. It's written by a woman who worked for years as a deputy coroner and assistant in a funeral home. The writing style is a little repetitive but that's just lazy editing, so I blame the publisher. It's still a fascinating read, full of empathy and kindness. It reaffirmed my belief in immortality and the good in people. I always suggest people read reviews before diving into any movie or book, just the way you would on anything else you purchase. We are now a buying public who trusts the collected opinions of our contemporaries over the word of advertisers and sellers, and I think that's a positive move.         

Selling a house

Perhaps you have questions about buying or selling a home, questions you want to ask of others who are buying and selling homes now. Well, there's a forum for that. It's one of my favorite sites for those nights when insomnia kicks in.

And if you are selling a home now or will be selling a home soon, be sure to download my home staging eBook, DIY Home Staging  Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. You'll find all the encouragement and tips to make the job of getting your home market-ready easier and more profitable. 

Here's a super simple idea for adding impressive art to a wall of your home. It's a way to frame small art to make it look big.  

You can make small art look so much better, just by framing
it correctly. The tutorial shows how to create art easily. 

I've used this online photo book service to create albums for gifts. If you are listing your home and are the kind of homeowner who takes photos of the landscape around your property at different times of the year, a photo album showcasing your home's seasonal appeal could be part of your marketing plan. Display it on the kitchen counter or a coffee table!  

Food and garden tidbits 

It's refreshing to read about people who gain success just by being themselves, especially when one of them starts out as a dyslexic boy living without luxuries. 

My garden's single swiss chard plant has been producing fresh leaves for months. So, my breakfast choice of late consists of two softboiled eggs with steamed swiss chard or spinach, plus V-8 to down my supplements. Here is where I learned to make perfect soft-boiled eggs

What small, kitchen appliance is a must in your house? For me, it's my Cuisinart ice cream maker. I keep the canister in the freezer so I'm always ready to make sherbet, sorbet, frozen yogurt, or even actual ice cream for a special occasion. I found mine at a garage sale in like-new condition. These machines retail for $60 and up. Months later I found another like-new one at a second-hand store similarly priced so I scooped it up (!) for my daughter. Apparently, people receive these as gifts, or else prefer Ben and Jerry's. So, keep your eyes open for clean, lightly used appliances like this when thrifting if you like to make your own healthy summer frozen desserts.  

Notice the $6.99 price still penned on the bottom of this 
Cuisinart machine for frozen yogurt and ice cream. 

For those of you who enjoy your daily caffeine fix, here's good news about the health benefits of drinking coffee. Note that it's not the recommended beverage for pregnant women (and probably nursing moms, too), and that sensitivity to caffeine increases with age.  

I would enjoy cooking in this famous kitchen, even though it's nothing like the direction today's kitchens are going. It's the (reconstructed) kitchen of Julia Childs, who nearly single-handedly revolutionized how 1950s Americans cooked. 

This is the kitchen of a serious cook, someone who actually
used her equipment, and insisted on nothing less than the best.  

Our minds

You are perfectly normal if you've never liked hearing the sound of your own voice. There's a reason why people say, "Do I really sound that bad?" (Still, I'll work on my New England mumble before I make any of my own podcasts.)  

Although it's five years old, I only recently discovered this 6.38-minute clip of Reese Witherspoon speaking about women's roles -- both in American society and in films. 

I've noticed that some people are curious and some people just are not. Curious people seem to get more pleasure from life, are more interesting than others, and offer more to society. I'd rather hang with them! Here are quotes about curiosity from three different people with enquiring minds.

Adam Savage, of Discovery Channel's two-man Mythbusters team, says of curiosity, "It's sort of a mental attitude about critical thinking. It's the mindset of looking at the world in a playful and creative way." 

Author Zora Neale Hurston once wrote, "Research is formalized curiosity and prying with a purpose." So don't feel bad about being "nosey" about anything!    

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." Those are the words of poet e.e.cummings. 

Adam Savage, a Hollywood stunt director, who has
has worked as an actor, artist, set designer,
toy developer, and toy developer,
shows off his collection of fake gemstones.  

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist,
and filmmaker who lived in the first half of the last century.

What have you been curious about lately? Go exploring!