Walking With AudioBooks

Walking With Audiobooks - Life With Lorelai

Like Walking? Enjoy Reading?

Put The Two Together!

I love to go for long walks in the park or along the beach. There is just something relaxing and rejuvenating about the peacefulness of a walk.

I used to go for walks on a regular basis, but as the kids’ schedules became busier, I found myself cutting out my walks in order to drive them to their school, social, or sporting events. I had lost my “me-time,” and I missed it. I had also missed a wonderful workout.

Exercise - Walking - Life With Lorelai

This past March, I decided I needed to get back into a routine of walking. Walks are healthy—mentally and physically. So, I began my daily treks. The first couple of days were nice, but then, I thought I needed to figure out some way to help keep me motivated to walk each day. My iTouch came to mind; it would make the perfect walking companion.

Kitty Enjoys iPod - Life With Lorelai

I have not had much time recently to read—a pastime I truly enjoy. I decided that my daily walks would be a wonderful time to catch-up on my reading. Audiobooks—what a phenomenal motivator! I could not wait for my next day’s walk to listen to more of my story. I also found that the audiobooks lengthened my walks. I wasn’t concentrating on aches and pains, or how tired I was, an added benefit.

Over the past six months, I have listened to twelve books, and am well into the thirteenth. I chose to get better acquainted with authors in my genre of writing, the cozy mystery. Authors such as: Diane Mott Davidson, Joanne Fluke, Rhys Bowen, and M.C. Beaton, to name a few. I am loving it!

I own a lot of audiobook recordings, but it’s all right if you don’t. I found this amazing website called, OverDrive. OverDrive brings your library right to your computer; it has a large selection of ePub and audiobooks for the borrowing. Check it out, and see if your library subscribes to OverDrive.

Lorelai's Walking Bookshelf - Life With Lorelai

I like to keep track of things, so I thought it would be fun to create a bookshelf on Shelfari specifically for my “Walking Books.” The shelf allows me not only to have a record of what books I have read, but serves as visual inspiration and motivation. You can also set-up a bookshelf on GoodReads. Check out my GoodReads Bookshelf in the sidebar. (I love the look of my Shelfari Bookshelf, but my free WordPress blog doesn’t support the Shelfari widget. :( So sad…)

Up for a Challenge?

What would you think of participating in a challenge—a challenge to walk for your health, and read books at the same time? It could be fun. And we all know that doing things with a group helps keep you focused on your task.

I will work on setting up the challenge. I hope you will join me. Watch for details.

Have you ever listened to an audiobook?

Do you have any favorite authors or genres that you like to read?

Photo Credits: www-gameofthronesreview-com, www-life360-com, fontfolly-net

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~Lorelai

Posted in Health & Fitness, Interests, Life, Life With Lorelai, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Birthday On Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

birthday candles - Llife With Lorelai

It’s My Birthday!

For my birthday this year, I wanted to share a special birthday memory. It happened to be my Golden Birthday, the age that matches the day of the month you were born, and it may have been the best birthday of my life!

I was lucky enough to go on three family trips to Europe. These trips took me to eleven European countries and provided me the incredible opportunity to spend three birthdays in a way that most people do not get to experience. Allow me to take you on a trip to Mount Pilatus, in the Lucerne Valley of central Switzerland, where I celebrated my 8th birthday.

Lucerne Valley, Switzerland Collage

August 8, 1971, what a wonderful day! I have very fond memories of my 8th birthday. When you turn the age matching the day of the month of your birthday, it is said to be your Golden Birthday… indeed it was! I spent my 8th birthday in Lucerne, Switzerland.

We woke early and headed out to Mount Pilatus. We spent our day traveling to the top, exploring, seeing the beauty that lay around us, and learning the history of the peak with its rich legends and lore.

Boating on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland Collage

We began our day trip with a boat ride across the beautiful Lake Lucerne to the base of Mount Pilatus. Once across, we made our way to the Aerial Gondola station where our journey up the mountain would begin.

Aerial Gondola Mount Pilatus, Switzerland Collage

We stepped into the gondola that took us part way up the mountain. The Lucerne Valley is breathtaking. We saw edelweiss, goats, sheep and cows, shepherds, longhorn blowers and yodelers.

Family Trip Mt Pilatus, Switzerland 1971 - Collage1

Cogwheel Railroad Mount Pilatus, Switzerland Collage

We then boarded a train that would take us up near the top of Mount Pilatus. This train is the steepest Cogwheel Railway in the world with a maximum gradient of 48 percent. The train took us to the Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, where we stopped for something to eat before continuing our ascent to the summit.

Family Trip Mount Pilatus, Switzerland 1971 - Collage2

The Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, built in 1890, is a romantic destination with a sun terrace and gorgeous views. After eating, we took to the trails and hiked the rest of the way to the top of Mount Pilatus. My sister and I even got to pet a cow. We were so high up the mountain that we were above some clouds. The fog swirled around us and was cold and wet. Our mother bought us some really “attractive” raincoats.

Mount Pilatus, Switzerland Collage

Mt. Pilatus, home of giants and dragons, towers above the Lake Lucerne region to an elevation of 2.132 meters, and once at the top, you have a panoramic view of 73 Alpine Peaks.

Legend has it that in the year 1420, a dragon rock fell from the sky, and Mount Pilatus became the home of the legendary dragons of lore. The most famous of these is a winged dragon that used a dragon-stone to divulge his healing powers with an elixir that revived weakened spirits and healed sick souls.

The mountain may hide another secret. According to local folklore, it is the final resting place of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. Legend says that every year on Good Friday, the tormented soul of Pontius Pilate surfaces to cleanse his tortured soul.

Family Trip Lucerne, Switzerland 1971 - Collage3

After an exhilarating day, we journeyed back across the lake to our hotel where we celebrated my birthday with a Sacher Torte and some other little goodies before heading off to bed in a comfy, cozy, feather bed.

It was an amazing day, an amazing birthday, an amazing adventure, and a heartwarming lifelong memory.

I hope you have enjoyed your little visit to Mount Pilatus in the Lucerne Valley of Switzerland. Thank you for sharing the memories of my 8th birthday with me.

Have you ever been to Mount Pilatus?

What about Switzerland?

Where in the World have You been?

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~Lorelai

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Explore Huntington Beach, California, On A Stay-cation!

HB Pier - Life With Lorelai

Welcome to Huntington Beach, CA ~

Surf City, USA

Huntington Beach, CA - Surf City, USA Collage

Are cost or time prohibiting you from taking a vacation? Why not take the chance to explore your own hometown—discover its hidden secrets, learn its history, and enjoy your relaxing “stay-cation”.

Allow me to share a little about my hometown with you…

Huntington Beach - Dog Beach - Bolsa Chica Wetlands Collage

I live in the beautiful coastal city of Huntington Beach, in Southern California. The Orange County community boasts gorgeous wide sandy beaches that stretch uninterrupted for close to 10 miles, world-class surf, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a designated dog beach, and one of the longest piers on the West Coast, at 1,850 feet.

Huntington Beach Surfing Collage

Nicknamed Surf City, USA, Huntington Beach plays host to the famous US Open of Surfing each year, and is home to the Surfing Walk of Fame, Surfing Wall of Fame, and the International Surfing Museum. Gordon Ramsey’s show Master Chef came to Huntington Beach the 2013 season to feed the surfers, you can read more about that at my blog post, Master Chef and My Home Town.

Huntington Beach Community Fun Collage

Huntington Beach is well known for its charming small town atmosphere amidst a bustling population of nearly 200,000 people. HB provides an array of regular events: the Fourth of July Parade on Main Street (at over-a-century-old, this is the largest 4th of July parade West of the Mississippi River), pancake breakfasts, chili cook-offs, Concerts in the Park, festivals, marathons, the New Year Polar Plunge, the annual (Rubber) Duck-a-Thon, Pier Swim, Grunion Runs, and weekly Surf City Nights Street Fair and Farmer’s Market. Citizens never lack the opportunity to share the joys of Huntington Beach with their friends and neighbors.

Beneath the small-town fabric, lays a city with a great history, and many of its historical buildings are scattered around the downtown area. Come on a walking tour with me.

Huntington Beach - The Sugar Shack Cafe - photo by Edwin Villanueva

We’ll start at The Sugar Shack, an old-fashioned breakfast and lunch diner on Main Street. The Sugar Shack has only been around since 1967, but its photo-filled walls share some history and memorabilia of Surf City. Surfers, residents, and out-of-towners alike flock to the quaint diner.

Old HB City Jail - photo by Trader Chris

If you slip out the back door of The Sugar Shack and walk through the back patio seating area to the alley, you will find one of HB’s oldest historical buildings—the City Jail, circa 1908. These windowless, brick jail cells, with incredibly heavy sliding doors are interesting to see and to ponder. Imagine the heat of summer, the cold of winter, the darkness, the isolation.

The Shank House - Huntington Beach Police Substation

Then you can turn the corner and visit the Shank House. The classic 1913 Southern California Bungalow originally built on 20th Street, and relocated in 1920 with the discovery of the Huntington Beach oil fields. In 1988, the City Redevelopment Agency acquired the property. Its new location, closer to the pier and just off Main Street, made the Shank House a perfect choice for the downtown Police Substation. Have you ever seen such an amazing substation?

If you are in for a little paranormal activity, you can mosey on over to the Beach Court where Rudolph Valentino is purported to haunt from time to time. The actor stayed at the Beach Court during 1923-1926 while in town filming movies.

Huntington Beach Library and Post Office Collage

The Main Street branch of the Huntington Beach Library and the original city Post Office are just short walks away. The original library building was open-roofed when purchased in 1913, but the addition of a roof, furniture, and books, made for a cozy library. The doors to the new (and current) library building opened in 1951.

Huntington Beach Ruby's Dine - Pier Collage

A few blocks walk down Main Street, past all the shops and restaurants, brings you to the Huntington Beach Pier. Take a walk or ride in a chauffeur pedaled buggy to the end of the pier for lunch at Ruby’s Diner. The two-story window-filled diner is perched on the end of the pier so as you sit in your booth you have full view of the ocean surrounding you and Santa Catalina Island just 27 miles off shore. Watch dolphins, sea lions, whales, surfers, and swimmers playing on the waves. My kids took me to lunch here a couple of weeks ago for my Birthday Bash. The pier is also a favorite of sport-fishermen.

Huntington Beach - Central Park Collage

Huntignton Beach Library - Central Park Collage

A little farther inland, you will find Huntington Beach’s Central Park. The 350-acre park is home to a beautiful library, which includes the most phenomenal children’s library around. It also is home to the Huntington Beach Community Playhouse, Shipley’s Nature Center, Adventure Playground (where kids can engage in old-fashioned play of fort building, mud-slides, pole rafting on a pond, tire swings, rope bridges, etc.) and the Park Bench Café where park goers can eat breakfast or lunch with their dogs. The Park Bench even has a Pooch Bakery. Picnic, walk the many trails, watch the wildlife, or enjoy a Concert in the Park at the outdoor amphitheater. Labor Day weekend always brings the Great Battle of Central Park. The Civil War Re-enactment is fun and educational with a camp, living history demonstrations, battles and more.

Huntington Harbor Collage

Huntington Harbor is a popular recreational area with marinas and a multitude of water activities. If you are here with your loved one, why not take a romantic sunset gondola ride through the harbor. At Christmas, Huntington Harbor is alight with the Huntington Harbor Boat Parade. It is a festive way to celebrate the season.

Huntington Beach - Donut Derelicts Collage

Since 1984, Huntington Beach’s Donut Derelicts is by far one of the best classic car cruises in Southern California. Every Saturday morning at 6am lovers of old cars, customs, and hot rods show up at Adams Donut Shop to show off their toys. Two to three hundred cars arrive and park for the social part of the morning—a little coffee and donuts with a whole lot of car talk. Then about 8:30, it’s engines rumbling as the cruise line drives around town. Here’s a fun fact… Luke’s dad actually helped get the cruise started. He has been living in Huntington Beach since 1936.

These are just a few of the great things about Huntington Beach, Surf City, USA. Not only do we have an amazing city, but also Orange County is an entertainment mecca. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are about 30 minutes away. Visit the historic San Juan Capistrano Mission, Bower’s Museum in Santa Ana, the Sawdust Festival, and Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. Behind the Orange Curtain, you will also find the homes of the MLB Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the NHL Ducks. The Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary are 20 minutes away in Long Beach, just across the Los Angeles County border. Within a 2-hours radius of Huntington Beach, you can surf, ski, and ATV in the beaches, deserts, and mountains, do a little celebrity hunting in Hollywood, or you can take an international excursion into Mexico.

I hope you have enjoyed your little visit to my hometown. If you ever find yourself here, be sure to check out some of these fabulous places and fun-filled events.

Have you ever been to Huntington Beach?

How does my hometown compare with yours?

Now that you know a little about my hometown, stop by and check out my About Me page.

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~Lorelai

Posted in Huntington Beach, Life With Lorelai, Photos, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Hello, My Friends… Life Goes On

Life Goes On - Life With Lorelai

~ Life Goes On ~

It’s been a long time since my last post—nearly six months. As we all know, life has a tendency to go crazy from time-to-time. And that is what happened around here.

So, here’s a brief update on what’s happening.

Writing

I had decided to slow down a little on the blog to concentrate on my writing. Done and doing.

Book One:

I have a middle-grade fantasy book out with an agent now. The publishing world moves at such a S—L—O—W pace. I am biting my nails waiting for a response as to whether or not she will take on the project.

Book Two:

I am currently working on changing the point of view (POV) on a cozy mystery that I began writing years ago and never finished. The change in POV from third person omniscient to first person past has made all the difference in the world. It is an enormous task to rewrite and create new, but I am thoroughly enjoying it, and my story seems much happier.

ps.—This book is the first in a series, which has a second book already written, but not edited. It will need a POV change as well.

Design A Life You Love - Life With Lorelai

Life

The beginning of May brought Kirk back home from the college campus, broken ankle and all. He broke it playing soccer in April. His ankle was broken so badly that he barely escaped having surgery, but the ankle did not want to heal. He was just allowed off the crutches three weeks ago and has been out of the boot now for one week. Talk about a pain in my multi-level house. The poor guy couldn’t even get to the bathroom without managing a step. Crutches take up a lot of space when you are 6 ft. 7 in. (the crutches were almost as tall as me), and my walls and baseboards suffered for it. Yet more work to be done around here. Kirk’s move home has been a mixed bag for Rory and I, as we were comfortable and happy with our new life routine. Change and adjustment are never easy.

Luke is still as wonderful as ever! We were in the middle of painting the exterior of his house, when I came down with Shingles. YUCK! So, he had to finish the base color himself, and we are waiting a bit to do the trim color. The house looks much better, even if it is monochromatic.

My house—the de-clutter and organize project came to a screeching halt, when I took a fall and severely injured my right arm (dislocated elbow and all). You don’t have to tell me, I know…it HURT!

But my loving Luke has been a busy bee in my courtyard the past week. Ripping out plants in order to get the overgrown jungle under control. He is repairing the sprinkler system, and investigating the electrical wires we found coming up out of the ground. They are hot! And they seem to run along the edge of the bricks across the courtyard without being in any protective conduit. Somehow, I don’t think that’s exactly legal…let alone safe.

Rory is doing great. She’s been healthy (knock on wood) and happy, and a big help to me.

Well, that catches you up on the major happenings. If I could get rid of these blasted Shingles things would be wonderful.

I look forward to blogging again and catching up with all of you.

What have you been up to?

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~Lorelai

Posted in Family, House, Life, Life With Lorelai, Miscellaneous, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

So Long, Jay Leno… Now, Shut Your Von Trapp!

Jay Leno |Life With Lorelai

photo credit: celebwallpapershd.com

It’s the End of an Era

What a fitting farewell for Jay Leno. It was wonderful to watch the two old friends reminisce the years. Billy Crystal is not only a great entertainer, but a great friend. His musical surprise tribute to Jay was the best! Check it out…

Jay made me cry with his heartfelt goodbye. It was truly like saying goodbye to a dear friend.

So long, Jay ~ You’ll be missed!

Do you have any favorite Jay Leno moments?

How do you think Jimmy Fallon will be as the next host?

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~Lorelai

Posted in Humor, Life With Lorelai, TV Shows, Videos | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Eight Great Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

8 Great Date Ideas for Valentine's Day - Life With Lorelai

Valentine’s, A Day For Lovers

Valentine’s Day–it’s just a few weeks away, and I know it has already crossed your mind. What are you going to do for your special loved one for Valentine’s Day?

I tend to like sweet and simple ideas (ones from the heart that actually mean something) better than the over-the-top too expensive things that leave you (as a couple) feeling like you just wasted a lot of money. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is just one day, and usually it falls on a weekday, which makes it hard to celebrate elaborately anyway.

This year, it does fall on a Friday, so it would be a perfect time to take advantage of a little weekend getaway, but remember, prices will be over-inflated. I would rather wait on that getaway until the prices were back to normal and be able to spend more on sight-seeing, food, or entertainment. The most important thing about Valentine’s Day is spending alone time with your loved one, and no boat-load of money is required to make that time special, romantic, and memorable.

So, I’ve put together eight easy and inexpensive ways to share your love.

Love Tree | Life With Lorelai

1. 14 Days of Love Notes
Sometimes, anticipation can play a big part in the over-all experience of a date. Why not try leaving your Valentine a special note each day of February leading up to the big day. Need some fun and flirty inspiration or free printables? Click here.

2. Bursting with Love
Get a bag of balloons. Write little love notes (things you love about your loved one, things you’d miss about them, things you forgot to thank them for), roll the strips of paper and stuff each note inside the balloons. Inflate the balloons; and then, as your Valentine pops each balloon, it will burst with love.

3. Love is Blind Restaurant Hop
Let fate decide where you dine for Valentine’s Day. Every time you come to a stop sign or get stopped at a light, flip a coin. If it’s heads–turn right, tails–turn left. Stop at the first restaurant you come to for appetizers. Continue on doing the same thing until you come to the next restaurant for your meal. Flip the coin again until you arrive somewhere for dessert. If you don’t have that much time, you could always stay at the first restaurant for the entire meal. And who knows, maybe you will want to have dessert at home…

4. Come Away With Me
Clip pictures from a magazine or print some off the internet of someplace your Valentine has always dreamed of going. Maybe even purchase a few things to reflect the customs or ethnicity to give your evening the feeling of being at that special place. Make a playlist of music from that country or place, and prepare a meal with at least one dish that your sweetheart would love to try from your dream region. Talk about the things you would like to do if you were there, or maybe even plan your dream trip.

5. Picnic at Home in Front of the Fire
You just want to stay put and be home-bodies? No problem, make yourself a cozy indoor picnic. Throw some blankets and pillows on the floor, and settle in front of the fire for a romantic evening. Move the furniture around a little to give you more space if needed, and light candles all around the room. Listen to the crackle of the fire and feed each other tasty tidbits from your picnic. Put on a romantic playlist and do a little slow dancing.

6. Special Dates Road Trip
Every couple has dates that are special to them–your anniversary, first date, birthdays, Valentine’s Day. Find out where your significant dates will take you. Leave your house and get out to the main road, roll the dice: 1 or 4 = left, 2 or 5 = right, and 3 or 6 = straight ahead (only use stop signs and lights for changing directions). Use your date (month-day-year) to tell you how many stops or lights you will travel before changing direction. (You may want to use just the last digit in the day or year if it is too large a number). When you get to your location, look around and see what there is to do–eat dinner, play pub trivia, listen to a band, get a cup of coffee, go for a walk, maybe even go bowling or play miniature golf. Then you can move on to another special date if you want.

Change this date up a bit by going for a bike ride or walking. Instead of stop signs and street lights, ride for minutes before changing directions at the next intersection. This adventure may lead you to new discoveries within your own neighborhood.

7. Romantic Candlelight Movie
Light some candles, lay out some snacks, and cuddle-up with your love-bunny to watch a romantic movie. Who knows, a little playful kissing or flirting may set a nice tone for after the movie.

8. Chocolate-covered Strawberries and Champagne
Whether you have these pre-made or make them together, chocolate-covered strawberries are a decadent treat. Couple them with a bottle of champagne, and let the romance begin. Movie, dancing, bubble bath…

Love Roses | Life With Lorelai

Take these 8 Great Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day and add your own creative twist, or mix and mingle them together. Add your own emotions and love, and let them carry you where they will. Whatever you do, have fun, relax and enjoy each other!

Do you have any creative ideas to share?

What will you be doing this Valentine’s Day?

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~Lorelai

Posted in Fun and Games, Holidays, Life, Life With Lorelai, Love | Tagged , | 58 Comments

My Kitchen Needs Help!

Built-in Electric Can Opener

I Need Ideas!

This lovely built-in electric can opener has been in this kitchen for 42-years, and it’s been dead for at least 15 of those years. In that time, I have gone through two other electric can openers that have sat on my counter-top, the last of which just recently died and has caused me to think about this space again.

I haven’t removed the ancient gadget in the wall because I don’t know what to do with the open hole it would leave. As you can see, there are electrical switches (one for my also dead garbage disposal, the other for the fan over the stove-top) directly next to the can opener.

Built-in Electric Can Opener 2

The offending can opener sits just above the back splash of my counter-top, but below a cabinet. You can see the two-plug electric outlet around the corner to the left. (This kitchen seriously lacks in electrical outlets). Just to the right of this space is my sink, and to the left is the door to the garage.

I would love some ideas on what to do with this. Do I just pull it out and drywall over it, or is there some fantastic use I can make of that all ready existing hole that will be left behind? I would greatly appreciate hearing any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Have you ever seen one of these built-in beauties?

What would you do with this space?

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~Lorelai

Posted in DIY, House, Life, Life With Lorelai | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments