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Ahh…finally. The dog days of summer have rolled in, and with them blooms of inspiration abound. As I clean off my iPad and iPhone, making way for new pics and memories, podcasts, books and a few TV shows, I feel the soft slow beat of ease.

Two fun TV shows fill my iPad: Season 2 Grace and Frankie and comedian W. Kamau Bell’s show The United Shades of America on CNN.

Grace and Frankie’s second season may not be as juicy as the first, but the music is still terrific and Lily Tomlin’s clothes relate-able. From her closet I discovered, Sleevey Wonders, ½ shirts you can wear under sleeveless tops and dresses to hide your Haddasah arms (www.sleeveywonders.com) I think she wears a full (and expensive) version, but these are just as good and less bulky.

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The Grace and Frankie Season 2 Playlist is at www.tunefind.com/show/grace-and-frankie/season-2

Then there is W. Kamau Bell’s The United Shades of America on CNN. The comedian takes you on a 1 hour journey to places you might not have thought to go: Inside the KKK, behind prison walls, on a beat  with cops in Camden, NJ to name a few. Last night we went to Alaska. Bell brings a perspective and sense of humor to another side of people and places. My daughter turned us onto him and now we watch as a family.

But… we can’t spend all of our time glued to a screen. While there are tons of lists for the perfect summer read, the two books I am taking on vacation are The Point of Vanishing, a memoir of two years in solitude by Howard Axelrod and Death In The Off Season by Francine Mathews. Francine is an inspirational friend and an entertaining and educational writer – from her Jane Austen series, to her historical fiction books on JFK and Ian Fleming, to these new summer page turners set on the shores of New England. If I can’t get there in person, this is the next best way of smelling the sea air as I cut just one more slice of blueberry pie and pretend.

My mom turned me onto Axelrod’s book, a memoir depicting his tale of a pickup game of basketball at the end of his junior year at Harvard, and a slight of hand that left him permanently blinded in his right eye. My mom, ever so cute and creative, chose it for her book club to read and then hosted the meeting and gave everyone a patch to cover their right eye with as they discussed his experience.

As I pack my bag for vacation, I am abuzz with the anticipation of entry into new worlds and their notings in my trusty travel journal, thanks to Judith Cassel-Mamet and her ever creative blog jcmamet.com. Let the filling of pages begin!

What are you MindFULLY watching, reading and listening to this summer?

Let us know!

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