In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now in my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
I've blocked myself, from writing that is. Put up a big old red stop sign, I did. Meanwhile. I decided to read our bookcase full of children's and young adult books that are mostly a combination of my collection and the Husband's mom's, who was a school librarian. Oohlala, n'cest pas? I've read six or seven middle school stories and two teen novels. The ones I read when I was a kid I still like. One of these days, I might just write a post about that. The last several days has been nice, not so hot, not so cool, not so windy, and not so hazy, hurrah! So. I've been tootling around in the back yard, cleaning, trimming, planting, propagating, painting, and so forth and so on. It's good for my soul and body. Last Saturday, we had a surprise visitor, for us and her. A sweet hummingbird flew into our house and proceeded to make her way up to our bedroom. It took about an hour, more or less, for her to tire out so that we could finally catch her and re
Whooo-hoooo! Five books. Five books. Five books. A happy song for me. I bought five books, a buck a book, from the local Friends of the Library the other day. It took all of five minutes, a minute a book, to decide I wanted them. Hurrah, hurrah! Molly the Cat likes the titles, too. So it seems. I'm still working on Anne Perry's latest Daniel Pitt novel, Triple Jeopardy , set in London in the early 1900s . If you read Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, which was based in the 19th century at the end of Queen Victoria's reign, you may like the Daniel Pitt series. Daniel is a 20-ish attorney who is Charlotte's and Thomas's son. So far, his parents play a minor, but still very important, role in the series. Once I'm done with Triple Jeopardy , I'll start on one of the five books. Which shall be first: Everything is Beautiful , by Mira T. Lee; Pride vs. Prejudice , by Joan Hess; Major Pettigrew's Last Stand , by Helen Simonson; I Fe
I like big-print books, I cannot lie. Mentally I jump with glee when I find a new big-print book that I want to read at the library. These days, my near vision is a laugh. I read by holding the reading material inches from my face, unless it's a big-print book. It's the most comfortable way for me to read, which isn't comfortable at all. The increasing kink in my near vision may be caused by the cataracts developing in my eyes, particularly the left. Until I got new lenses last year, I blamed the rips and tears in my old glasses for me not seeing clearly. Ha! I only had to put out $600 for the new eyeglasses to find out how wrong I was. The Husband has cataracts too. Worse than mine. He'll have cataract surgery for both eyes (one at a time) in the Spring. Once he's settled, I'll get at least the left eye done. I'm glad that both of us are on a decent Medicare Advantage plan. Fictional Characters I Like Speaking of books, which I was at the beginn
Molly the Cat rubs her face from front cover to back cover of Under a Tuscan Sun , by Frances Mayes, rather than just one edge of the book. That's how much she is enjoys Mayes' memoir, too. I'm taking my time with it, savoring a section or two with breakfast. I may have mentioned this before: Mayes has been inspiring me to turn the Mama's house into our home. Since the Mama's spirit soared into the universe last year, I have been reading a lot. The last time I lost myself in the virtual reality of novels, memoirs, and nonfiction was during my school daze. I read so much back then, the Mama would sometimes say to me, "You read too much. You're going to hurt yourself. Go outside." Today I've got it somewhat balanced. I read and I go outside. Sometimes, I read outside.
I have been randomly reading A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H.W. Fowler that has been sitting on my reference bookshelf since 1994, when I purchased it new for a buck, but did not ever crack open until a few months ago. All these years I missed out on the amusing dry wit of Fowler, along with possibly learning when to use some words appropriately sooner. More than likely I bought this book because it was on a list of must-have reference books for writers. Who knows how many times I've thought about selling Fowler's book or donating it to a thrift shop. I'm glad I didn't. This morning I read the entry for flurried , flustered , and fluttered . The word fluttered is usually used to describe a timid person who suddenly must deal with a crisis. Fowler did not seem to have much confidence with fluttered individuals. As for the word flustered , Fowler stated that a person so overwhelmed with multiple emotions she can't begin to express herself is best depic
I'm reading Under the Tuscan Sun right now. This is my third start (maybe fourth) in the last 10 years or so. I enjoyed the movie so I bought the book when I saw it on the "buy 3, get one free" table at a bookstore. I finally got to a point that I don't recall having read. This morning I learned that the fig flower resides inside the fruit and a certain kind of wasp burrows itself inside the fig to lay its eggs. If it doesn't succeed, that's okay, it has at least pollinated the flower. If larvae has been deposited, ooh-la-la! According to Wikipedia (yup, I had to learn more), a mature male mates with a female then proceeds to peck its way out of the fig so that all the females can escape. The male, now wingless and, no doubt, quite spent promptly dies. May he forever rest in joyful peace knowing that he did his job well. Frances Mayes is the author of Under the Tuscan Sun . For those who never read the book or saw the movie, Mayes wrote about her exper
Zetabetical. Cool word, huh? I learned it this morning in the novel I'm currently reading, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Zetabetical. Google coughed up 39 results of the word, its earliest use in 2003. In the novel, the protagonist, Eleanor, organized the tins on her kitchen shelf in zetabetical oder. Tins? The novel is set in Glasgow. Zetabetical. From the statement, I take the word to mean alphabetical in reverse order. You know, starting with Z. It wasn't easy for me going backwards, as you can tell in my picture. Giggle. Today marks the last day for the current ABC Wednesday team. Thank you Roger, Leslie, Joyce, Gattina, Di, Melody, Pheno, and Troy! Next week, a new round begins under Melody, the new ABCW administer, and her team at a new address . For the next ABCW round, I shall go through the alphabet writing about movies I've seen. Yup. I've almost forgot. Click here to check out more Z themed posts.
"Stop reading," ordered the Mama. "Go outside." I'd probably been lying on the bed reading for three or four hours that sunny summer weekend afternoon. I was probably 12 years old. That's what the Mama got for buying me a bed with a bookcase headboard. It was packed full with paperback books that I purchased from the monthly Scholastic book catalog during the school year. Three or four dollars bought me a lot of books back then. I shall always be grateful the Mama and the Daddy let me buy so many, and for leaving me alone to read the books over and over most of the time. Reading was my favorite thing to do in summer, followed by riding bicycles, watching movies, and eating. Except for the bicycle riding, I seem to have slipped back into my once-upon-a-time summer routine. I'm not getting much done, I admit. And, yes, my clothes are feeling snug. Again. I really do need to urge me to step outside and do something. There's still time today t
Yesterday, as I was weeding out stuff I've been storing for decades, I found a hallway pass that was made out to me in my last semester of high school. The pass allowed me to go sit outside on the Senior Class benches to read my book. Yes, you read that right—a pass to read! My first period was Reading, an English elective. I loved that class. We read novels and plays of our choice in class and wrote book reports about what we read. Without that class, I doubt I would've ever read such classics as Babbitt, Our Town, Death of a Salesman, The Jungle, Winnie the Pooh, and Rabbit, Run. I don't know what it's like today, but 45 years ago when a high school senior already had her credits locked in for graduation, life was a picnic. Just as long as she didn't do something stupid, nor get caught for doing something stupid.
Did you see the Google doodle today? It honors L.M. Montgomery, the author of the Anne of Green Gable series and many other books. Today is Ms. Montgomery's birthday. She would've been 141 years young. A baby compared to Methuselah. Anne of Green Gables was one of the books that Mrs. Patterson, my fifth grade teacher, read to us after lunch to settle us down. It instantly became one of my favorite stories. I didn't want to be Anne, but I did want to be like her: imaginative, creative, kindhearted, mischievous, spunky, intelligent, open, and spiritual. I learned to appreciate nature through Anne's adventures, as well as to recognize when I had met a kindred spirit. I don't know much about L.M. Montgomery. Only today did I learn that L.M. stands for Lucy Maud. A nice solid friendly name. Reading this brief biography , I learned how Ms. Montgomery's life somewhat parallels Anne's life. Going to Prince Edward Island is still one of the places I want
It's not my birthday. It feels like it though. Today, the Husband and I drove over to Freedom to buy food for Molly the Cat. Our task was done quicker than we estimated, so we headed down the road to Watsonville to visit the art store and bookshop before lunch. I'd only planned to buy a couple of new colored pencils at Wild Rose's Artists' Supplies and Custom Framing , but you know how it goes. I checked out the shop's art paper. Marbled paper. Oooooh. Wavy, corrugated paper. Gotta have that. Small rectangle-shaped suede paper. 25 cents, sold! My plan is to make masks. Yup. At Crossroads Books , I bought a mystery called Shaking in Her Flip-Flops . Can't go wrong with a title like that. Another neat thing about the book is that it's written by Joyce Oroz, an author who lives in nearby Aromas . The Husband and I also decided to purchase a copy of The 2016 Farmer's Almanac . That's always fun reading. To top off getting all this coo
I love reading books. Writing book reviews, not so much. I tell myself it's good for me to write them for my 2015 Reading Challenge . Discipline and all that. Of which, I have been finding the time to read for pleasure more regularly. Yay! for that. Boo! though, as a couple of the books I've read don't fit any category. This may mean another level of discipline—finding books that do match the challenge categories. I'll think about it. Anyway, today, I give you four reviews. Just so you and the FCC know: Should you click on the Amazon links and happen to purchase anything there, Amazon may reward me with a bit of change. √ A book with magic As I read The Game by Laurie R. King, I traveled back to the Flapper Age, wandering around India with 60-ish Sherlock Holmes and his much younger wife Mary Russell. The couple was sent there by Mycroft, brother of Sherlock, to find the 50-ish missing spy Kim O'Hara, the once-upon-a-time young boy about whom Rudyard Ki
"Don't read so much," the mama said to me, standing in my doorway. "You'll go crazy." She said that to me a long time ago when as a kid I had again lain too long on my bed reading yet another book. I'm sure what she meant was something like "Go play outdoors!" Did I lay my book down and go outside? I doubt it. Since the husband and I moved to Hollister seven summers ago, I haven't done much book reading for fun. Most of my reading has been research for work. I want to change that in 2011. The last few days, I've been pulling books from the bookshelves and the various book piles throughout the house. Those plus the ones I got for my last birthday come up to 70 books. Soooooo, I shall be reading 70 books in 2011. It's not so bad though. About a third of them are children's books, which is still one of my favorite types of books to read. To see my list of 70, please click here . To make my reading quest even more fun, as well as to
Back in November , I signed up for the All Things Alcott Challenge . Because it was during the last six weeks on the challenge, my goal would be to read one book by or about Louisa May Alcott. I'm sorry to say that I didn't make my objective. I read the Wikipedia article about Ms. Alcott's life and read one short story, "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving." The Wikipedia article about Ms. Alcott is a great introduction to her fascinating life. Here are five facts about her: Ms. Alcott was born on her father's birthday. Her father was Amos Bronson Alcott, one of the founders of American Transcendentalism . One of Ms. Alcott's teachers was Henry David Thoreau, author of Civil Disobedience . She wrote novels that Wikipedia describes as "passionate, fiery novels and sensational stories," which perhaps would be categorized today as Chick Lit. The character "Laurie" in Little Women may have been based on Ladislas Wisniewski, a young Polish man
"L" is today's letter. Click here for other "L" posts. I'm rolling in luxury. Well, I shall be next week. The husband indulged me with a gift certificate for books for my birthday. That is my favorite kind of present. Thank you, sweet husband ! This year, I took my time selecting the books that would be lined up to be read in the coming year. I wandered around a bookstore first, checked out several book blogs, and glanced at a few book lists. Here's what I finally chose (If you want to hear today's Christmas song as you read about the books, scroll down and click on the video first): A Night Too Dark by Dana Stabenow . This is the 17th novel about Kate Shugak, a private detective in Alaska, who has a homestead in a national park. In this story she investigates the murder of a roustabout who works for a company that wants to open one of the largest gold mines in the state. Locked In by Marcia Muller . The author's Sharon McCone series has been
Yes, another reading challenge for me to try. This one is all about Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women . It was one of my favorite stories when I was a teenager. I identified with Jo, the tomboy, the fun sister, the romantic, the outspoken one, and the writer. Who didn't? So, this challenge, the All Things Alcott Challenge . What's it about? Click on the link to read the details. Essentially, participants decide how many items related to Louisa May Alcott to read, listen to, or watch that they hope to complete by December 31. My goal is the number 1. Between now and then, I will read at least one book by or about Ms. Alcott. Update of Other Challenges The 200 sit-up challenge . I finished that last week. Did 200 crunches all in a row. Yep, I did. Jumping three times daily . That's on hold. My right ankle is now screwed up.
I'm still not reading books for fun regularly like I did before there were blogs, but at least I'm getting back into it. Last night, I finished Craig Ferguson's autobiography and picked up my latest to read from my pile of books yet to read. Really, I shouldn't even be thinking of buying new books or browsing for books at the library. But, I am. Since I have new book, I'm participating in the weekly book meme called Teaser Tuesday . Basically, you open the book at random and choose two sentences (though some bloggers choose more) to quote. The objective: To provide enough of a tease that others may be interested in reading the book, too. So, after reading my offering, come join me at Teaser Tuesday to discover possible future reads. "Bart was right to warn her it wouldn't be easy. The mayhem, the turbulence, the mushrooming growth, the scope and pervasiveness of underworld activity, topped off by the massive disruption of the earthquake and f
Yep. I found us—you, dear gentle readers and—another blog hop to check out. This is a fun, short one for all of us book-loving readers. Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading . The idea is to randomly pick two sentences from a book you are currently reading. Check it out! Of course, read my offering first, then head over to here . "Giants and fairies was how he described classical music. He could just as well have been talking about show business." ~ American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson page 26
The Moai Murders by Lyn Hamilton is my last entry for the Cozy Mystery Challenge . Hurrah! Lara McClintoch is an antiques dealer from Toronto, who Lyn Hamilton has made as the main character of her archaeological mystery series. The Moai Murders is the ninth tale in the series. It's the first one I've read. The story is based on Easter Island or Rapa Nui. The author sidesteps the mystery of the Easter Island statues, but does weave the history and culture of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, into the plot. Lara and her best friend Moira go to the island after Moira, who just won her bout with cancer, decides to go somewhere that she always wanted to go. Lara goes because Moira has asked her. Upon arrival at their hotel, the women walk into a lobby full of Rapa Nui enthusiasts who are attending a conference. They decide to sign up for the conference to learn more about the maoi. Almost immediately, they are witnesses to the ugly rivalry between the two Rapa Nui experts. Not one, no