I Can’t Sleep!

Neither can I.  Partly due to age, partly due to worry, but I just don’t sleep that well anymore. Well, I used to not be able to sleep.

A couple of months ago I read an article in First magazine about insomnia. One of the recommendations was to take magnesium, which helps not only with insomnia, but also with restless legs (yep, I had those too, hitting right at 9:00 every night) and night sweats (don’t have those yet, but I’m sure they are coming.  Yay perimenopause!).  Apparently magnesium deficiency is a big cause of insomnia, restless legs, etc.  Who knew?

The product recommended is Natural Vitality Natural Calm.  I like the orange flavor. Follow the directions on the package, just mixing the powder into water a couple of times a day (actually, I’ve found that once a day, about 2 p.m., works well for me). The flavor is just slightly citrusy, and it’s fizzy like Alka-Seltzer.  Using a water soluble powder works well to help your body absorb the magnesium. There is also another benefit besides insomnia help:  it keeps everything, uh, moving.  If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

I bought my Natural Calm on Amazon, and the first time I took it, I slept all night for the first time in I don’t know how long.  I don’t care if it was a placebo effect.  I’m just glad that it works quickly (I am a teensy bit impatient), and that it keeps working.  I’m on my second package.  It’s not cheap, but an 8 oz. container lasts me about a month.  50 cents a night for good sleep?  Sold!

So I still have all my worries, it’s just that I don’t lie awake at 3:30 a.m. (unless things are really really bad) doing math (and it’s always subtraction…) in my head, ruminating on the state of my finances, my life, my family, the world.  I save it for when I’m awake, which is better (no, really) because things always seem much worse in the middle of the night. And I feel like I’m a bit calmer during the day now (which would be why they call it the “anti-stress drink” on the label).  Now I can sleep almost every night, for most of the night.  Perhaps I wake up for a few minutes here and there, but I usually don’t have the endless mind-racing, tossing-turning, panic-inducing insomnia that has been plaguing me for a very long time.   Give Natural Vitality Natural Calm a whirl.


Go Get This Book! Now!

I just finished Gillian Flynn’s latest, Gone Girl.  Kindly avail yourself of the services of your nearest bookseller and buy this damn book! It’s compelling and inventive and very creepy. Beautifully written, suspenseful, fast-paced–well, I know I’m gushing.  Just read it.  A lot of the time best sellers escape me–crap writing, predictable plot, sort of a lowest common denominator of literature.  But Gone Girl was utterly unpredictable and, I would have to say, masterful.  I couldn’t put it down.  Go on.  Go get it.

It’s Just So Hot!

It’s so hot that it’s like being snowed in (even though, no, actually, it doesn’t snow here in Vacaville) because you can’t even go outside!  I run out first thing in the morning to do errands, rush home, close the curtains, and hunker down and let the air conditioning wash over me.  So the kids will be back to school in a few days, and maybe you’ll have some unstructured time on your hands, and  you’re stuck inside.  How about a little something to read?

This summer I read a whole bunch of books (ahh, yes, that’s the me I’m used to, the staying-home-reading one, not the hiking, out-and-abouting one), but I didn’t love all of them.  Joan Riverslatest, I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, just wasn’t that funny.   The Red House by Mark Haddon was kind of depressing, and I didn’t really even like the characters (but I have to come clean and tell you I didn’t finish it).  Peter Cameron’s Coral Glynn was okay, but it seemed sort of self conscious–This is a Book That Takes Place in England in the 1950s.  These are all new books, all very popular, and I wanted to love them, but I didn’t.

Here, however, are the ones I did love.  First of all, Hard Country, by Michael McGarrity. It’s a Western, which isn’t usually my bag.  Although, I did love Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, that  wildly popular Western novel from the 1980s.  Hard Country did sort of remind me of that book.  It takes place in New Mexico territory, and tells the saga of one John Kerney, and the trials of his life.  Very long, very good.  I cried in the end.

Next, I so enjoyed The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. Apparently Ms. Moriarty happened to read a snippet about one summer in the life of silent film star Louise Brooks, and it sparked this novel.  When Louise Brooks was 15 years old, she was sent from Kansas to New York for a few weeks of dancing lessons, and she was sent with a chaperone.  This tells the imagined story of Cora, the chaperone, and her experiences with the scarily worldly, headstrong Brooks.  I loved it.

The Lifeboat  by Charlotte Rogan is a Titanic-era story.  It is, not surprisingly, the story of a ship that sinks and some of the passengers’ (particularly one young woman who is a newlywed) ensuing time on a lifeboat.  It’s almost a bit suspenseful.  I thought the ending was a little weak, but I still enjoyed it and think it’s worth reading.

The Bolter is the true story of Idina Sackville, and it’s told by her great-granddaughter, Frances Osborne.  Idina Sackville was part of the Happy Valley Set, wealthy British adventurers who settled in Kenya and were the subject of many stories, including James Fox’s White Mischief (which was very interesting, I might add)  They were self-indulgent, lawless, careless, and selfish people.  Idina was no different, but Osborne is able to bring out another dimension to her, and we see her as a lonely, restless soul who, really, was just looking for someone to love her.  She abandons her marriages regularly, and was the inspiration for Nancy Mitford’s character The Bolter in The Pursuit of Love (another of my favorites). I found it compelling reading.

Finally, Some Tame Gazelle, Barbara Pym‘s first novel, tells the story of two sisters, Harriet and Belinda, and their lives in a small English village, replete with vicars and curates and minor royalty and tweeds and tea and gardens. In parts I laughed out loud, even though the humor is subtle and gentle.  I just love Barbara Pym.  If you haven’t read anything she’s written, this is as good a place as any to start.

I’m still reading, so I’ll have more ideas soon.  I’m just starting Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and it looks interesting. I’ve got Frances Osborne’s newest book Park Lane waiting for me at the library.  If you’re feeling flush, grab a few of these books off Amazon.  If you’re feeling po, well, reserve them on the library website.  Of course you know which way I’ll be doing it.

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