Friday, June 27, 2008

Rollie Update

I haven't had much to say about Rollie lately so I thought I would update. Rollie has grown since he came to live here. A lot. He is on a diet but I don't see that it is going all that great. We will find out at his next vet visit. At any rate, he continues to be the sweet kitty that he was as a kitten even though he doesn't sit on our laps as much. I used to really enjoy settling in to watch a good movie with a cup of tea and a warm kitty on my lap. Now, he doesn't join us quite so much. I think he has outgrown our laps and he has found much more interest in staring out the back door at any sort of wildlife that might come rambling through the yard -- he was mesmerized by a tiny toad night before last.

At any rate, I though I would share a couple of "now" (top) and "then" (bottom) photos so you can bask in the gloriousness of G. Rollie --
Friday Fill-ins

1. Birthdays are better than the alternative.

2. Autumn is my favorite season because of the cool, crisp temperatures and the beautiful fall foliage.

3. I feel my best when I have eaten well, exercised some and accomplished something (this means not siting in front of the tv all day!)

4. Soup is my favorite food.

5. First impressions are one thing you don't get a second chance to do.

6. The best piece of advice I ever received was to stay true to myself.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to watching "The Other Boleyn Girl", tomorrow my plans include going to the other house and doing some work there, and Sunday I would like to go to church and enjoy my family at a belated Father's Day gathering in the evening.
Happy Anniversary to me!

Yesterday was my anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary -- that is on July 1. Rather, it was the anniversary of our first date! I remember it well. I wore a pink Bobbie Brooks skirt and we went to the Olmos Theater. We double dated with A's friend, Ronnie Holland and my friend, Penny Kuykendall who were dating. We saw a double feature -- "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love". Little did we know then that 43 years later I would be sitting here blogging about it. What is even more amazing is that I actually remember that pink Bobbie Brooks skirt!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

"What, in your opinion, is the definition of a 'reader'. "A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what is?" Or, more specific. Like the specific person who is reading something you wrote."

In my opinion a reader can be all of those things or just one of those things. A person who reads everything in sight -- a voracious reader -- while maybe not particularly discriminating, is still reading and probably a great deal. A person who reads BOOKS is indeed a reader. A person who reads for school or work is also a reader.

However, when I think of a "reader" I think of a person who truly loves to read, regardless of the genre. I think of a "reader" as one who becomes involved with the characters and plotlines and plunges into the story (or article) completely.

In my opinion, a "reader" is someone who is passionate about the pasttime, regardless of what he/she is reading but gets into it, enjoys it, looks forward to the next adventure and realizes that the ability to read is a life changing gift.

"Like the specific person who is reading something you wrote". Yes, she defines the term "reader".

Friday, June 20, 2008

River D

I have become reacquainted, through myspace, with a girl that I went to school with. She lived around the corner from me and her name is Myrtie. She is the daughter of the well known c/w singer, Leon Payne. I haven't seen her for years. However, we have "commented" a few times on myspace and I follow her blog -- she is very big in the c/w music scene in the Hill Country.

In January her mother passed away. The same day her daughter announced her pregnancy -- I get the feeling it was a long awaited pregnancy. In any event, the baby was born a few days ago -- a little boy named River D. He arrived much too early -- 24 weeks. He weighs 1 lb. 8 oz. and is 14 1/2 inches long. Myrtie says his head is about as big as a tangerine. There are pictures on her blog -- he is really a cute little guy. Her reports are all good -- he is doing well He is getting help breathing but he is holding his own and all the news is good. He has a long way to go but, from the way it sounds, he is going to do well.

This family could use all the prayers that are available out there. He is doing well, under the circumstances, but he could always use a little help. So, please remember him and his family. They would really appreciate it.
Friday Fill-Ins

I love these things!

1. A smile is just a frown turned upside down! Cheesy!

2. Skipbo is my favorite board or card game.

3. I would love to have more time with my kids in my life and less tension.

4. When I think of the Summer Solstice I think of my junior high school friend, Delphine.

5. I just remembered I need to go to the cleaners.

6. One of my favorite song lyrice goes like this:

"There are places I'll remember,
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all" Free Blinkies

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to going shopping and for a bite of dinner, tomorrow my plans include going to the shooting range and Sunday I want to go to church and then a trip to the airport to pick up the wayward travelers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thrush Green -- Miss Read

"Thrush Green" is the first novel in the Thrush Green series by Miss Read. It is a very cozy, comfortable book depicting the lives of several village dwellers in the fictional Thrush Green which is the neighboring village to Fairacre of her first series.

The book is centered around the traveling fair that came to Thrush Green every May 1. It details the interactions of the villagers with the travelers as well as with each other. There is young love as is seen with Molly Piggot and Ben Curdle and old love as evidenced by Dr. and Mrs. Bailey. There is comedy involving Ella Bembridge and Dimity Dean that is reminiscent of Hyacinth and Elizabeth (if you are a fan of Britcoms, you know what I mean). There is loss --" "I'll take those flowers to the larder shelf," said Mrs. Bailey, advancing upon them. "No," said her husband and something in his voice made her turn and look at him. He sat very still and his face was grave. "I'd like them left out." Mrs. Baily could say nothing. "We shan't see the old lady again," said Dr. Bailey. "I doubt if she has three months to live."" There is controversy as seen in Molly Piggots drunken, abusive father but none of the negatives are presented in such a way to mar the general impression that this is an uplifting book.

This book is a fast read because the reader is drawn into these characters lives -- it is like you are sitting on the village green watching their days unfold. It is very charming and I would definitely recommend it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Random Thought -- Reality Check

You know how you can tell you are middle aged? You open your email and find an ad for hoverounds and the next ad is for sexy singles! LOL!

Friday, June 13, 2008


I had the most wonderful idea for a post yesterday that required the use of a vintage picture. I have a handy dandy new three in one printer -- not color and not photo which is fine since this a vintage photo -- so I scanned in the photo and then proceeded to blow it up, save it and get on with my post. When I tried to insert the picture it wasn't big enough or bright enough. Well, I went back to square one, made it bigger and brighter and carried on. Still not right. After about 30 attempts at this I thought I had it perfect, scanned, saved, wrote the post, inserted the picture -- still too small. Consulted A on this. His response was "that just seems to be the way they scan". Not a suitable answer for me. So, do I blame the picture? Do I blame the scanner? Do I blame Linux? I am beginning to have a love/hate relationship with Linux so I am ready to blame everything on it. So, today, I am going to try to take a photo of the photo with the digi camera and see if that works any better. Maybe one day you will actually see the post.
Friday Fill-in #76

1. Losing weight is high up on my bucket list.

2. My favorite quote is "if it's not one damn thing it's another": it's from my Aunt V.

3. The desire to keep a journal inspired me to start blogging.

4. Strawberries are best fresh and unmessed around with.

5. Nathan was in the last dream I remember having.

6. The most enjoyable time to go for a walk is on an autumn morning.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to just crashing but I think A has other plans in the form of Cabela's, tomorrow my plans include going with A to B's house so I can see Nathan and continuing to straighten up the guest room and Sunday I want to go to church, out to lunch and have a quiet afternoon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Young Readers Challenge

The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, The Seeing Stone

While I am aware that I have met the guidelines for the Young Readers Challenge, I find that I am drawn to children's books more than ever. So, I will continue to add to my list of completed reads.

My latest completion is "The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, The Seeing Stone".

In this book The Grace Children, Mallory and twins Simon and Jared continue to explore the rickety, ramshackle house they have moved into that actually belonged to their grand-aunt. Simon isn't too concerned with the discovery of the secret library and the books by the patriarch Mr. Arthur Spiderwick concerning the existence of faeries, that is, until he goes missing! In the previous book, the children are introduced to a brownie named Thimbletack and in the second book, Thimbletack is responsible for helping Mallory and Jared find Simon who had been kidnapped by the goblins. Thimbletack gave Jared the seeing stone -- a stone with a hole in the middle of it that, when looked through, allowed Jared to see the goblins that were, otherwise, invisible to him.

It was a perilous effort finding Simon, encountering a troll and sprites and a band of goblins along the way. When they finally arrived at the goblin camp they found Simon trapped in a cage along with many cats, a goblin with green cat eyes and an injured griffin that they took home to nurse when the whole ordeal was over. A battle ensued in which Mallory had to make use of her fencing sword but, at the end of the day, the children made it back to their home where their mother was very concerned about their disappearance -- it was, after all, 1 a.m.

These books are well written, although a bit gross in areas. However, they are drawing me in and wanting me to read the next installment. The illustrations are great and I am enjoying them. I would recommend them to the older ages in the group and I would try to find them in discount stores or second hand bookstores because they are a little pricey at the big name stores -- especially since they can be read in about an hour.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Have your book tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easys? How to books over novels? Mysteries over romance?

I honestly have to say that my taste in books has stayed pretty much the same, just more grown up versions. As a child I read a great deal and the children's books I read the most were those that took me out of my time period or my locale and now, I real lots of books that are historical fiction or at least are set in a different place. I also read a lot of family based, generational books. A good example of that is "A Woman of Substance" or some of the Beverly Lewis serialized books.

I still read a lot of fiction but I do read non fiction too. My favorite non fiction reading is genealogically based and I love reading about British royalty. I am very much an Anglophile so that is always something that attracts me. As a child, I was completely taken with the new World Book Encyclopedia set that I received and would sit for hours reading the encyclopedia and was quite content to do so. For Christmas I received a copy of the Archaeological Bible which I am finding very interesting except the type is very hard to read.

I am generally not great with dark, serious reading but I did like "The Memory Keepers Daughter" which was a bit dark and, in my opinion, pretty serious. Last night at the bookstore I was eyeing a new V. C. Andrews series but, after reading the first chapter, I decided to put it off for a while. The early Andrews books ("Flowers in the Attic") were pretty good but the later series, after her death, I find to be disturbing, so I passed on it.

I have never really considered whether I read challenging books over easy books, I guess I read both. However, with the Young Readers Challenge I am reading many childrens books -- I can't seem to stop, actually -- and some of them are easy but they are still really interesting. Right now I am reading "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and it is very easy to read -- I can get through one of the books in about an hour -- but it is really good. Great writing, good illustrations -- it is all there but I guess it would be considered easy. Some of the children's books that I have read are simple but not simplistic. They handle very serious subject matter and are well written. They are easy to read but the subject matter is such that they are serious to controversial depending on the age group you are looking at.

Yes, I read how-to books. I read lots and lots of needlework books. I have read Joyce Meyer's book "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life" -- good advice even for the non--religious.

Romance? Mysteries? When I was younger I read a lot of what would be considered romance although I wasn't a big Harlequin fan. I haven't read it much in the recent past but, because of a new challenge, I will be starting again. I am not sure how it will go. I like certain types of mysteries. "The Haunting of Hill House" and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" are mysteries to me. I haven't read many real mysteries like Miss Marple, etc. but I would like to.

Generally, it is a rare occasion that I can be found without a book in hand, or at least nearby. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, we had three television channels. Sounds bad? Well, not really because tv watching didn't take up all our time. We had the time to read and did a lot of it -- a favorite pasttime in the long, very hot summers of South Texas. I found that books were always available, thanks to the library, that you didn't have to wait for them to be "scheduled", you didn't have to dvr them, you could "rewind" them and read parts over and over again, you could take them with you and often did, you could imagine the scenery, people, places, etc. without having somebody think it up for you -- the perfect diversion.
Friday Fill-Ins

Ok, I know it isn't Friday but I am off a day -- or two. I will do Thursday's thing in a little while.

1. Idle hands are the devils playground, or something like that.

2. I love Aveeno Colloidal Shower Gel in the shower.

3. My favorite time of day is when A nudges me from my chair slumber and says it is time to go to bed -- usually right after the Leno monologue or maybe the Leno headline funnies.

4. The last tea I drank was Stash Peppermint Herbal decaf, last night before my chair slumber.

5. I like to stay inside during the summer.

6. My mother always said "don't do anything to embarrass me". I didn't -- she wasn't.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to absolutely nothing, tomorrow my plans include going to the gun show, and Sunday I want to go to church and celebrate A's birthday with my family.

Monday, June 02, 2008


1. My father made a movie once and I had a part in it as a screamer -- off camera.

2. I feel that my junior high school years were my favorite school years.

3. I used to paint ceramics.

4. When my children were small, I took a creative writing correspondence course because I have always wanted to be a writer.

5. I have always wished I could draw.

6. I can't quit buying quilt fabric or embroidery floss -- it is a sickness!

Yay! I have been tagged! This is my first tagging and I am thrilled because I love, absolutely love, all these questionnaires and bulletins and things. So, here goes!

1. Who is your all time favorite author and why?

This is difficult to answer because I have several authors that I gravitate toward which is bad, because I probably ignore many others that would be very good. Jan Karon comes to mind immediately. The Mitford series was very captivating for me although some reviewers found it to be milque toasty. I loved every minute of it and couldn't wait to get the next book. Barbara Taylor Bradford is another favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed all the "Woman of Substance" series. I will also read and re-read Shirley Jackson. While I read "The Haunting of Hill House" more than once, I really enjoyed "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" more. I received my first copy of it for Christmas when I was about 14 and loved every page of it. I can't leave out Grace Metallious of "Peyton Place" fame. I seem to really like books that are soap opera-like. Doesn't say much for my reading taste, does it?

2. Who was your first favorite author and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

I think the first author that I remember being struck by was Kate Seredy --"The Good Master". Every year we had required reading lists -- a thing of the past, I am sure -- and she was the first author that I remember reading most of her books. I really enjoyed her books because they took me into a different culture than my own and I found her descriptions -- mostly of the clothes -- to be quite enchanting. While I haven't read her in a good number of years, I am looking to collect her books if I can find them of the same vintage that I read them.

Other authors that I enjoyed as a child were Doris Gates "Blue Willow" and Lois Lenski "Strawberry Girl" and I do have those books in my library.

3. Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors and why?

Well, I have to say that Barbara Pym, introduced to me recently by JLSHall is a new favorite as is Miss Read. I am enjoying them because they write "comfortable" books. I am not good with science fiction or deep intrigue, although I am beginning to enjoy mysteries other than Nancy Drew but I tend to read books that are either historical fiction or more family drama sorts of things.

I have never been to "into" romance novels once I moved out of the "Gidget" stage but I am involved with a Romance Challenge that is allowing me to revisit the genre. I have chosen a couple of Debbie Macomber books for that. However, I have to add that I did obtain my daughter's name from a Harlequin novel that I was reading at the time so I guess romance novels really don't deserve the discredit they so often get. I will let you know how it goes.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would pop out of your mouth? Are there any you would add on a moment of further reflection?

Spontaneously, I would probably mention the ones I have already mentioned above because I am reading some of them now. However, I would have to add Beverly Lewis, Henry Winterfeld (can't leave out "Star Girl"), Larry McMurtry, JD Salinger, Barbara Delinsky, Belva Plain, Rosamunde Pilcher, James Howe (you gotta love "Bunnicula"), Kim Edwards. Oh, I don't know, there are so many out there it is really hard to say.

I don't know six people to tag so I will probably tag Monique and Mary Kathryn.