Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Playlist

I have eclectic taste in music — I like just about anything except rap and hip hop, which aren't really music at all in my humble opinion but chanting of poems or something!  But, I've never really liked listening to the same artist song after song.  So, I finally got an iPod Nano, and I set it to Shuffle.  I thought it would be fun to write down an hour's worth of music in its shuffledness!

Riders in the Sky - Burl Ives (3:07)
Teddy O'Neill - Innisfree Ceoil (2:33)
In Dulci Jubilo - Ludwig Güttler (2:40)
1812 Overture: Grand Finale (3:41)
Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary in D Major) - Clarke (2:49)
The Glenside No. 1 & 2 - The Glenside Ceilidh Band (2:09)
Ballinastoe - Irish Ceili Band (3:27)
Last Rose of Summer - Claire Hamilton (2:37)
Jesu Mein Herzens Freud - Bach (3:10)
Gierran (Enchantment) - Wimme Saari (4:19)
Waltz in C-sharp Minor - Chopin (3:15)
The Show Must Go On - Three Dog Night (3:28)
For the Love of a Princess (Braveheart) - James Horner (4:06)
Marie's Wedding - Van Morrison & The Chieftains (3:16)
Baneasa's Green Glade/Mominsko Horo - Planxty (5:58)
O'Sullivan's March - The Chieftains (4:01)
Wonderful One - Hawaii (2:39)
Saint Mary's, Church Street Garret Barry, The Battering Ram Kitty Goes A-Milking, Rakish Paddy - The Chieftains (6:53)

As you can see, I'm very fond of Celtic and classical music, but I also have Egyptian, Nordic, Hawaiian, Japanese and Cajun music, as well as classic rock and folk songs on my iPod, even some steel drums.  Don't you just love modern technology?  I'll bet there's not a radio station in the country that plays that mix!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Information about Gonorrhea Lectim (joke)

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of this old disease.  The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim, pronounced "Gonna re-elect 'em," and it is a terrible obamanation.

This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior involving putting your cranium up your rectum.  Many victims contracted it in 2008...but now most people, after having been infected for the past 1-2 years, are starting to realize how destructive the sickness is.

It's sad because Gonorrhea Lectim is easily cured with a new drug just coming on the market called Votemout.  You take the first dose in 2010 and the second dose in 2012 and simply don't engage in such behavior; otherwise, it could become permanent and eventually wipe out all life as we know it.

Several states are already on top of this, like Virginia and New Jersey, and apparently now Massachusetts, with many more seeing the writing on the wall.

Please pass this important message on to all those bright folk you really care about.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Knitting up a Storm!

Now, I realize many of you may not find this as hilarious as I do, but I couldn't resist!

This is a page from a very old craft catalog, circa 1973.  The LeeWards company doesn't even exist any more, having been bought out by Michael's many moons ago.

Notice the *lovely* brown and yellow afghan.  Yes, we found things like that lovely in those days — don't ask me why!  We never claimed to have good taste, I guess.

But what cracks me up is that the afghan is crocheted (notice the red box around the size crochet hook required), but the lady is gleefully, mindlessly poking two knitting needles into the afghan as if she were mixing vegetables in a stir-fry wok with chopsticks!  She's not even holding them properly for knitting.  Hee, hee hee!  What a hoot!  I wonder how many kits they sold with that ad?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Enjoy Your Children While You Can!

I came across this poem I clipped out of the newspaper when my sons were babies.  I'd completely forgotten it, but I am thankful, and proud, to say I did not make this mistake, even though reading the poem still makes me cry!  My sons are now young men, and even though I love how they have matured and grown, I wouldn't mind a bit if I could go back in time to when they were just little.

This photo shows my fearless sons lighting *gasp* bottle rockets on the 4th of July, probably about 1994 or 1995.

To My Grown-Up Son
My hands were busy through the day,
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I'd say: "A little later, son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wished I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past...
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear...
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
Author Unknown

I'm so glad I spent time with my children when they were little, but it never seems enough.  Cherish every moment you have!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Highlander Series by Karen Marie Moning

I just finished reading the first seven books in this series.  (I've been told the eighth book is not really a necessary part of the series.)  While I wouldn't classify these books with the usual historical fiction I'm partial to, they were still fun to read.  Some of the anomalies in the earlier books really grated on my nerves, but they got more historically accurate as they went along.  I guess Ms Moning actually started to do some research!  Once I approached them as what they are billed — paranormal romances — and not as historical fiction, I relaxed and enjoyed them more.

Some of the stories involve time travel, some involve Druids, some involve faeries, some involve all three!  All of them take place at least partially in Scotland, if not entirely.  The men are all unfailingly beautiful, ripped and dominant.  The women are all beautiful, mostly blonde, and smart.  Naturally, the men fall for the women and vice versa, but the stories do have enough plot to keep it entertaining.  The books also got sexier as they went along — probably too titillating for a woman of a certain age *blush*!  If you are a fan of historical romance, paranormal romance or time travel romance, you should love these books.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where Have I Been Lately?

Beats me!  I'm enjoying my retirement and doing something every day -- I just can't figure out what!

Here is a new needlework project to show off.  It is the 2000 DMC Christmas ornament, which I finally got around to stitching in 2010.  Ten years is not too bad, right?  The photo really doesn't do justice to the sparkly gold and red threads and the detail.

This will go to my newest 'honorary' cousin, Joyce, because of all the nice things she's done for my sister!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Engagement & Wedding Pictures - 1983

I was so thin!  And Bob had so much hair!  The funny thing is, he only wore glasses for about 3 months and then switched to contacts, although he is back to glasses these days — just not quite so big!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Three Junes" by Julia Glass

Book Description:
An astonishing first novel that traces the lives of a Scottish family over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises.

In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage.  Six years later, again in June, Paul’s death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home.  Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion.  Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses.  Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father.  Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her.  In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love’s redemptive powers.

My Review:
Yet another book I did not enjoy.  More dysfunctional family stuff.  And I found the homosexual part very distasteful.  It's not so much that I have anything against gays; I really don't.  I just find descriptions of their sexual encounters to be repugnant.  I, personally, don't want to know what arouses them.  Plus, I have a really hard time believing that your average straight, middle-aged woman author can really understand what makes a gay guy tick.  Just saying. . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Bragging (and some Shame)

In 2005, I took my Dad to Norway.  We had a wonderful time and we met dozens of cousins!  And, I got a wild hare that I needed to cross stitch something for every one of the female cousins we met — all 14 of them!  So here is the bragging part because I finally got them all done (and the shame part, too, because it took me so long!)

"Families are Forever" (Familier er Alltid in Norwegian) for Brit-Elin

"Gunnar" & "Freya" for Brit-Elin's daughters Rigmor & Kristin

"Colorful Rooster" & "Cat Treat" for Aud and her daughter Liv

"Four Seasons Angels" (with the seasons in Norwegian) for Oddlaug

"Victorian Roses" for Guri

"Hummingbird Paradise" for Sis

"Mini Strawberry Sampler" for Rønnaug and "Tree of Life" for Ingrid

"Morning Glory" for Sissel

"Majestic Magnolia" for Thora, who passed away before I could finish them all

"Floral Fancy" for Heidi

I did my best to match the design to the person, so I really hope they enjoy them.  I certainly enjoyed stitching them!  And, in my defense, I did take time out over those five years to stitch other things of a more immediate nature, like baby blankets and such.

2010 Family Reunion

For family members, here are the photos I took at the impromtu family reunion while I was in South Dakota.  Just click the photo and it will take you to a slide show.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Natural Well, Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville, AL

Yesterday, I decided to hike to the Natural Well for a change of scenery.  It is a big black hole in the ground that is technically a "pit cave."  A pit cave is a type of natural cave passage which is vertical rather than horizontal.  According to park officials, Natural Well has an initial drop that goes more than 180' straight down and then goes 325' under the mountain.

I always enjoy the 1.75 mile walk to the Natural Well, even in this ungodly heat.  I have several friends who won't go on the mountain trails in the summer because of snakes.  Snakes shmakes!  In the nine years I've been running, walking and hiking the trails of Monte Sano, I have only seen two, maybe three, snakes.  What bugs me the most are spider webs!  I have visions of being wrapped up by the forest spiders from The Hobbit and being hung up to "cure!"

But, truly, my worst pet peeve is the teeny, weeny little black bugs whose sole purpose in life is to land on an eyeball!  Like tiny little Jedi warriors attempting to bomb the Death Star...

"Blue Leader, this is Zeeezzzz.  I'm in position; I'm starting my run."

"Roger, that.  Hold steady...hold steady.  Oh, no!  The eyelashes are coming down!  Pull up!  Pull up!"

"Too late!  Aauugghh!" {spins wildly off into space}

"This is Blue Leader.  Blue Team prepare for bombing run."  Suddenly, a giant hand comes up and brushes the entire Blue Team away.

"This is Red Leader.  It's up to you to now, kid.  Make us proud.  Remember, there is no greater glory than to die by tears!  You will get your reward when you reach the Great Poop Pile in the Sky!"

"Aye, aye.  This is Bzzt.  I'm in position.  I'm going in now.  I'm locked in...I'm in!  Aauugghh!  Tell my mother not to cryyyyyy...blub, gurgle, glub."

Since I just had cataract surgery on my right eye on Tuesday, I wore my sunglasses to protect my eyeball from the teeny weeny Jedi bugs!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Nightly Visitor/Pest!

This little critter has been visiting our house nightly for the last two weeks or so.  We wouldn't mind that very much, except for the fact that our cat goes nuts, running from window to window, pawing at the blinds, knocking things off windowsills and just generally making a racket!  All at 3:49 AM...

Last night, he showed up just after 9 PM.  He's not as mean as he looks in the photo; he was trying to catch a moth that was caught in the beam of the flashlight.  He seems quite friendly, so we suspect someone is feeding him.

He likes to walk along the ledge outside our kitchen windows and last night, we discovered why the hummingbird feeder has been going empty so quick!  He grabs the plastic perch rings with his teeth, pulls the feeder close, wraps his arms around it in a big, ol' bear hug, and then laps up the sweet nectar!  Of course, he spills a bunch, too.  I'm going to try putting less food in the feeder so he can't waste so much.  I guess I'll just have to refill it everyday until he gets tired of visiting our house.

He usually wanders along the ledge and spends some time on the deck, too.  All this just makes the cat crazy, of course.  Here he is looking in the patio door.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On the Road Again!

So, the doctor said I could start running again at the end of July.

I did 3 miles on the mountain on Saturday morning and 2 miles Monday night and again tonight.  The "innards" felt secure — no pain, no discomfort — but the knees didn't get the memo!  I walked more than usual tonight, partly because of the knees and partly because it was still 94° with a heat index of 100° at 8 PM!  What's up with that!?!?  I've had about enough of this heat . . .

I will post some pics of my trip to South Dakota in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

South Dakota, Here I Come!

I'm leaving in the morning for three weeks with my Dad in South Dakota.  Woohoo!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I am A-OK!

I had my final appointment with Dr Richter today, the doctor who did my last two proplapse surgeries, and she says everything is secure, and I can begin running again at the end of July.  I'm doing my happy dance!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Walk in the Rain

I am slowly trying to get back some level of fitness, so I have been walking on Monte Sano, our over-sized hill that we lovingly call The Mountain.  Today at 8am, the temperature was already 80° and the heat index was 85°, so it pays to go early.  The Weather Channel said we had a slight possibility of widely scattered thunderstorms in the evening.  No problem, I thought!

I hadn't even gone a quarter of a mile when it started to rain.  At first, it was just hitting the leaves of the trees and not making it to the ground, but of course, that didn't last.  Before I had gone 2 miles, I was completely soaked!  There must be a word for people like that — deranged comes to mind — but I kept on walking until I had my full 4 miles and then some.  Surprisingly, I saw relatively few people out there on the trails today . . . maybe they knew something I didn't?

I am one of those people who hates to step in mud.  I will step off the trail into the weeds (this is a Southern forest we're talking about; every inch of ground is covered with some kind of plant, many of them poisonous!) just to avoid the mud.  But today, after valiantly trying to stay out of the mud for about half the walk, I finally gave up and walked right through the next puddle.  I just got the biggest grin on my face and I felt just like a kid splashing in the puddles.  Everyone should try it at least once!

The sun tried to come out for a few minutes while it was still raining and the greens were absolutely luminous.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Pillow for my Dad

I made this pillow for my Dad for Father's Day.  He used to love hunting ring-necked pheasants, so I hope he likes the pillow!  This is really the first needlepoint I have ever done, other than two tiny little things.  I know my pillow is nowhere near the quality that my sister makes at C'est Chouette, but I did my best!  I even put a zipper in the back so he can take out the insert to wash if it needs it, and as my husband says, I'm lousy at zippers!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Newest Favorite Etsy Site

Love handmade jewelry?  Have a look at this site, gals!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lady of Leisure

You may have noticed that most of my posts lately are book reviews!  There are two reasons for that.  First, I had surgery again at the end of April, and I wasn't allowed to do much; hence the copious reading.

And secondly, I got laid off from my job of 20 years, right in the middle of my medical leave.  I'm not as upset about that as many might be, because I have been wanting to retire for quite awhile now, but my husband doesn't think we can afford it.  I am looking for something else, but my severance package was very generous, and I sure would like to have a break!  I've been working since I was 11 years old, sometimes two jobs at once, and I am so ready for the next phase of my life.

I'm not sure what the future holds at this point, but I do know one thing — I'm going to spend some time with my Dad this summer!

She Wakes by Jack Ketchum

Book Description:
Greece.  Ancient land of mystery, legend and myth.  It is here that businessman Jordan Chase visits an historic tomb, only to experience a dark vision of the future.  And it is here, amidst the beauty of the landscape, that Lelia, a gorgeous but dangerous woman, befriends a group of tourists . . . to lure them into a nightmare of pain and terror.  She lives to seduce and destroy, to feed off her human prey.  Lelia is more than myth, more than superstition.  Lelia is deadly.

My Review:
E-e-e-e-u-u-u-w-w-w!  A very strange story indeed.  This is another one of those books that was recommended on the Books-A-Million booklover's calendar.  I would never have chosen this book on my own, but I was having a slump on books coming up on my wishlist on BookMooch, so I added some from the booklover's calendar that looked even remotely promising.  I should know better!

Fortunately, this book was quick to read, and in its own way, gripping.  But I can't say I liked it.  Too much sex and bad language for me.  And then there was the flesh-eating part, and the rape part, and the cruelty, and the snakes and the mean cats.  I did enjoy the descriptions of Greece, though, and I would love to visit someday.  I would hope it is not as tourist-y as described in the book, but I suppose it probably is.  I never did figure out what Jordan Chase's role really was, and the ending didn't make much sense to me at all.

This is definitely a horror story with not nearly as much tie-in to Greek mythology as it would like you to believe.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen

Book Description:
Beware!  Honey Santana is off her meds, reacting rapidly to the bad behavior of others.  This time, the annoyer is a telemarketer from Texas.  Honey's revenge?  She invites Boyd Shreave on a paid ecotour of the Everglades, where a blue-eyed Seminole named Sammy Tigertail strums an electric guitar on a woe-begotten clump of shells, mangroves, and beer cans called Dismal Key.  Soon Boyd and vengeance-crazed Honey are joined by a private eye with a red-hot video camera and a college girl who just wants to have fun.  And with a brawling cast of lunatic men, desperate women, a skateboarding teen, and even a restless ghost all going native, who will protect the Everglades from the wild humans?

My Review:
This is a crazy, fast-paced romp through the Florida Everglades with a wacky cast of characters.  This is nothing like Orlando or Miami, but real Florida, with alligators, snakes, mosquitos and fire ants.

Honey Santana likes to teach people lessons, especially when soulless telemarketers interrupt the precious time she spends with her son.

Sammy Tigertail's first day on the job as a boat guide for the tribe goes terribly wrong when a drunken tourist dies of a heart attack, and he is afraid he will be blamed.

Boyd Shreave is a loser from Texas whose current job is calling people at dinner-time to offer them lots in Florida.  He is having an affair with his co-worker, Eugenie, and is being spied on by his wife's PI.

Somehow, all these people, plus a few more, end up on tiny Dismal Key in the middle of the Everglades.  What follows is like a Shakespearean comedy of errors—highly entertaining.  This book would make a great movie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ricky has Graduated!

Ricky has graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Civil Engineering, just like Mom.  We are so proud of both of our boys!  It hardly seems like it has been 23 years since he was born...I guess your baby will always be your baby!

Just last year, it was Bobby who graduated.  Now, they are both men, ready to take on the world.  {Sniff, snuffle, sniff...}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

Book Description:
On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London's Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil.  A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty's army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking.  But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent:  The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade-in-arms who may have been a traitor.

Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear.  From the bawdy houses of London's night world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility...from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything—or nothing.

The early days of the Seven Years' War come brilliantly to life in this historical mystery by an author whose unique and compelling storytelling has engrossed millions of readers worldwide.

My Review:
Meh...not for me.

I read the first five books of the Outlander series quite a few years ago, and I had forgotten who Lord John Grey was.  Perhaps if I had remembered, I would never have read this book, but, then again, I probably would have, since I consider Diana Gabaldon one of my favorite authors.  Lord John was the young English soldier who lost his lover, Hector, at the Battle of Culloden and subsequently fell in love with Jamie Fraser.

This book is nowhere near as good as the Outlander series, and I was put off by some of the language and crude epithets.  I have read in other reviews that the Lord John series gets better, so maybe I will persevere...maybe not!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mourning in Miniature by Margaret Grace

Book Description:
Now that Geraldine Porter is retired, she's got time to devote to her favorite craft and her precocious granddaughter, Madison.  You'd think a world of shoe-box-sized high school hallways would be trouble free.  But Gerry's problems are anything but tiny...

When bookish Rosie Norman asks Gerry to accompany her to her thirtieth high school reunion, Gerry looks forward to seeing her old students.  Rosie, however, has only one classmate in mind:  star athlete David Bridges.  Bearing a miniature replica of the bank of lockers where David once kissed her, Rosie has pinned her hopes on romance.

The tiny corridor, however, becomes a giant clue when David is murdered—a clue that leads Gerry down a path of thirty-year-old alliances, betrayals, and grudges.  Now with the help of her granddaughter, Gerry must employ all her skills to reconstruct the true scene of the crime...

My Review:
I won this book as part of a contest in Dollhouse Miniatures magazine.  It was an enjoyable mystery and a cute story.  I'm not really into modern-day stuff, so it wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was well-written and fast-paced with plenty of plot twists.  The interaction between the main character and her granddaughter was charming.  This is not the first book in the series, and if I had read the earlier books first, I might have had more of a sense of who all the characters were, although they were sufficiently explained for the story to be complete.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes murder mysteries (without tons of gore and details—this is definitely a G-rated book) and/or anyone who likes miniatures.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Time of Terror by Seth Hunter

Book Description:
In 1793, British Navy commander Nathan Peake patrols the English coast, looking for smugglers.  Desperate for some real action, Peake gets his chance when France declares war on England and descends into the bloody madness of the Terror.  Peake is entrusted with a mission to wreck the French economy by smuggling fake banknotes into Paris.  His activities take him down Paris streets patrolled by violent mobs and into the sinister catacombs beneath the French capital.  And they bring him close to famous characters of the day:  the English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, her American lover Gilbert Imlay who acts as George Washington's agent in Paris, and the British/American writer and revolutionary Thomas Paine.  As opposition to the Terror mounts, Peake fights to carry out his mission—and to save the life of the woman he loves.

My Review:
This was an enjoyable story, but by no means the best I have ever read.  I believe it was well-researched, and I particularly enjoyed the naval battle scenes.  However, the romance was decidedly weak, although it was obviously not the main point of the book.  I never really felt that Nathan cared that much about what happened to Sara, or the other people he met in Paris, for that matter!  And, of course, that applies to the reader, too, then.

The book did not build suspense or anticipation for me, as it should have.  However, I wouldn't hestitate to recommend the book to someone who enjoys historical fiction, particularly naval stories, or has an interest in the French Revolution.  And I may read further books in the series because I think there is potential for the stories to get better.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An example to us all

I just came across this heart-touching post.  Please read it...

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Book Description:
'She looked absolutely pure.  Nature, in her fantastic trickery, had set such a seal of maidenhood upon Tess's countenance that he gazed at her with a stupefied air:  "Tess—say it is not true!  No, it is not true!"'

A beautiful peasant descended from a decayed aristocratic family, Tess Durbeyfield is betrayed by two men.  The story of her violation by one, her abandonment by the other, and her tragic revenge shocked many of Hardy's readers; the debate focused on his representation of Tess as 'A Pure Woman'.

Hardy thought Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) his finest novel, and Tess herself the most deeply felt character he ever created.  D. H. Lawrence and James Joyce testified to the significant effect this novel had in breaking down the barriers of literary censorship.

My Review:
Oh, my goodness, what a sad story!  I loved the poetic language used by Thomas Hardy—no one talks like that any more, sadly—but I much prefer a happy ending.

It was interesting to see how Tess was treated in her time for something that was not her fault and has been happening since the beginning of time.  I think (I hope) we are slightly more accepting nowadays.  I don't like to give away particulars of a book in my reviews that may spoil it for others, so I won't say exactly what happened to Tess or how she eventually dealt with it, but it will definitely be a book to be remembered.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Colleen's 30th Birthday - Gifts

I am just learning how to use my new Flip Video Camera, so pardon the quality!  Plus, it was dark in there!  Here's Colleen opening her gifts.

John surprised her by organizing a get-together at Cantina Laredo...yum!  We did a good job of keeping it "hush-hush," and she was truly surprised.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Farewell to Tom

My brother-in-law, Thomas Miley Higginbotham, passed away early today.  His fun-loving ways and infectious wit will be sorely missed.

He was always the one who tried to make things better, to smooth ruffled feathers and try to get people talking to each other again.

Please remember him fondly.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I'm going to have to stop reading books that get great reviews — I just don't seem to like the same things as everyone else.

I just finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.  I found this book depressing.  I don't enjoy reading about dysfunctional families — infidelity, teenage angst, unwed mothers, drug use, inability to communicate, misunderstandings, etc.  There's enough of that in real life.  The story really seemed to go on too long.

I did enjoy the sympathetic way the author highlighted some of the issues faced by people with Down's Syndrome, but, all in all, I'm glad I'm done with that book!

Friday, March 5, 2010

2008 Harvard Commencement Speech by J. K. Rowling

My friend, Sharon, at The sunlit desk pointed me to this speech given nearly two years ago.  I had never heard J. K. Rowling speak before, and I was quite moved.  If you have a moment, listen for yourself.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ahab's Wife

I just finished reading Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.  I'm still trying to decide what to make of it.

Some reviewers really loved it, some hated it.  I wanted to love it, but I didn't.  Her phrasing was lauded by many, but I found it cumbersome.  Perhaps I'm not as literarily precocious as some, but I dislike having to read a paragraph multiple times to glean its meaning.  I can appreciate a well-turned phrase, but if I find myself thinking of ways to have said it more concisely, it distracts from the story, in my opinion.  The book is long at 666 pages, but I wouldn't mind that at all if there really were that much to tell.  There were some chapters that amounted to nothing more than raving or rambling.  I understand their purpose within the story, but I didn't enjoy them at all.

I gave my husband a not-so-short synopsis, and he just laughed at all the things that happened to the heroine, Una.  He insisted there was no way that could have happened to one person, but I quite enjoyed the plot twists and the varied situations she survived.

I'm still not sure what to think of the book.  I may read another by Naslund and see if I can decide!

Friday, February 19, 2010

One less piece/part

So, I had my thyroid out yesterday.  I didn't really want to do it, but the doctor thought it was time. I'm doing pretty well so far.   The incision area is tight and sore and it hurts to swallow.  But my calcium levels were good, so the doctor let me go home a day or two early!  Yay!

I'm starting to feel like I'm not a whole human being anymore, though.  Too many pieces/parts missing now!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Big Brother

My older brother had a heart attack on February 2 and had a quadruple bypass yesterday.  The doctor says everything went as expected and the nurse said his numbers are good.

Please keep him in your thoughts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Book of Eli

I went to see The Book of Eli with my husband and son last night.  What an interesting movie!  It really kept us talking about it long after it was over.  It is one of those movies that makes you think, and one that you won't soon forget.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Diet - Week 2 + 3 days

OK, so I punted the South Beach Diet.  I just can't eat that much protein!

I lost 3.6 pounds in the 10 days I was on it, but I was miserable the whole time.

On to something else!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Diet - Week 2

I am having a hard time finding meals with only protein and vegetables!  I miss my lemonade for breakfast and I definitely miss chocolate!  And I am already sick of eggs, not being a big egg-eater to start with.

Yesterday, I was down 3.8 pounds, but today I am back up 2 pounds.  What's up with that?!?!

I feel sort of sluggish and my stomach is somewhat upset a lot of the time.  I'm hanging in there, though.

Monday, January 4, 2010

South Beach Diet

Well, I started the South Beach Diet with Bobby and Sara today.  We'll see how it goes.

It seems like it will be hard on a runner to go without carbs for two weeks, but I do get to eat lots of vegetables!  And, I haven't been doing any running since I hurt my knee at the Tashka 25K, anyway.

I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast and I had the Wild Salmon filet from Captain D's for lunch with broccoli, side salad, and no rice.  It says snacks are required...hmmm, wonder what is in the machine downstairs that I could actually eat!