Things I Like

These are things I recommend without reservation. Enjoy!

The Celestine Prophecy
I was originally turned on to this book by my mother, years ago. She recommended it as spirituality told in a story, “Even if you don’t like the message, I think you’ll like the story.” I read it, enjoyed it, and then kind of forgot about it. Coming back to it as an adult, I am still impressed by the perspective expressed in it, and I’m amazed by how many of the lessons in it found their way into my life, without my realizing it at the time. Even if you don’t like the message, you’ll like the story.

I purchased this book on a whim while on vacation in California in 2005. I was really captured by the story, and the style of the writing. The storm truly is the title character of this story, and it’s a captivating description of the interrelatedness of humans, environment, weather and technology, and our lack of control over all of these.

All things Harry Potter
What can I say? It’s magical. It’s great story-telling. I love these stories; the movies are great, but the books are truly fantastic. If you haven’t read them, you should.

The Killer Angels
I picked up this book while on vacation in 2007. It is probably the best book I’ve ever read. (It won the Pulitzer Prize, so I shouldn’t be surprised this it’s fantastic.) This book of historical fiction about the battle of Gettysburg made me see the Civil War as a human reality, rather than an abstraction. (And this from someone who spent many an elementary school field trip at Antietam, Manassas and even Gettysburg itself.) It did add to the experience to read it in an area which saw a lot of Civil War activity, and at the very end of June and beginning of July.

Marguerite Henry’s Books
These books were absolutely pivotal to me as a horse crazy little girl. Heck, they’re still important to me as a horse crazy woman. Her stories created both human and equine characters that reached me at the heart and helped me develop into the horse woman that I am today. I still love these stories, and cry when I read them.

Misty of Chincoteague

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian

Black Gold

Summer Pony
I remember borrowing this book, regularly, from the Olney Public Library growing up. There was something about this story that really tapped into the dearest dreams I had as a child who wished for a pony of my own. It is a darling story with beautiful illustrations.

Billy and Blaze books
These books (the first in the series is linked to above) were another fascination of mine as a child. They perfectly described the kind of life I imagined with my fantasy pony. I took them from the library until I was much “too old” to be reading such things. I still read them from time to time as an adult, and I’m captured by the stories and amazed by the illustrations.

August and Everything After
This was my favorite album in college. It’s still one of my favorites. It’s one of the few albums I own that I actually love to listen to from start to finish without skipping any tracks.

I love George Winston’s music. This album combines traditional Christmas music with new songs that are in the spirit of the season. It is an absolute staple for me for the holiday season.

Kind of Blue
I really had no idea what jazz music was about until I heard this album. Ok, I still don’t really know was jazz music is about, but there is nothing better to listen to when you want to listen to music and relax.

TV shows
The best TV show to ever be cancelled. I am completely enamored of this series. I’m on my 6th or 7th time through the DVD set. This is truly one of the best things to have ever been on TV. The dialogue, the character development, the acting, the directing, the music are all fantastic. Every time I see it, I get more nuance out of it, and I look forward to watching it again soon. And so should you.

Les Stroud is just cool. In a world full of tv shows based on “reality” situations of “survival”, “endurance”, races and a lot of other farce billed as dramatic television, here is a guy who puts himself on the line to actually survive in a tenuous situation. And he does it all with a sense of wit and his intellect in tact. Not only do you get an entertaining show, but watch out, because you might learn something in the process.

Planet Earth
This is the best argument I’ve heard for owning an HD TV (I don’t). Beautiful, amazing television, which typically reduces Dan & I to the statement, “That is NOT the planet I live on”. Worth watching even if only for the snow leopard scene in the mountain episode — the truly best moment of television I’ve ever seen. The whole series is amazing, but that scene is my favorite.

See the notes above regarding Firefly. This movie is the continuation of the story from the Firefly series.

Jurassic Park
One of my all time favorite movies. The characters (including the dinosaurs) in this movie are so well developed that you care about how each is effected by the drama. The music is beautiful, and the visual effects are stunning.

The Goodstone Inn
The scenery is beautiful. The accommodations are luxurious. The food is phenomenal. The service is above reproach. Every time I go, I am amazed by the quality of my experience. Every time they manage to exceed my expectations, even though I’ve been there nearly a dozen times. I absolutely cannot recommend the Goodstone Inn highly enough. If you go on my recommendation, tell them who sent you.

Dance Lessons, particularly with Arthur Murray
Obviously I think dancing is great. I now make my living teaching dance lessons, and before I was a professional, I spent an awful lot of my own money taking dance lessons for years. I think absolutely anyone can benefit from taking ballroom dance lessons. You’ll learn more about yourself, have a great social experience, uncover more about how you learn, develop a new understanding of how to interact with other people and get some exercise doing it. Even better if you go with a spouse or significant other – spending this time together will add depth to your relationship and give you lots of “quality time”. I say “particularly with Arthur Murray” because this is where I’ve had my great experiences. There are other good places out there to learn to dance, too, but I can only swear by the place I’ve had my success.

Places to Shop
I love Amazon. You can get almost anything, from a trusted seller, and you often don’t have to pay shipping.

Deirdre Baker, Deirdre of London designs
One of my favorite dress vendors for dance apparel. Deirdre is a very straightforward person (she won’t tell you to buy something that doesn’t look great on you) who designs and makes beautiful clothing. Some of my most beautiful dresses are from her, and I really appreciate that she doesn’t charge extra for custom design. If you check out her stuff after hearing about her from me, please tell her I sent you.

Chrisanne couture
Chrisanne couture is the gold standard in dance apparel. I am always amazed and impressed by the quality of the work and the variety of design. I have some truly amazing and beautiful Chrisanne dresses, and I always feel great when I wear them. Customer service is also incredibly good. Tell Ivy I sent you.

2 Responses to “Things I Like”

  1. [...] I mentioned in a previous post, I love this show.  This is the best TV show to ever be cancelled.  I am completely enamored of [...]

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