Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where I've Read 2011

For a view of the nifty map showing locations of where books I have read this year take place, click the link below. There were no pins available for outer space or the realms of fantasy and there were several books I've read that took place there.....!!,-61.523437&spn=107.613937,316.054688

Friday, December 2, 2011

You've been racked!

Saturday while leaving the hospital where I work, I saw a curious sight….coins were taped to the vending machine and along side it was a note… “You’ve been RACK’d!” (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). It brought a smile to my face. After black Friday shenanigans the day before, it was good to see that somebody was thinking about others, rather than themselves. The true Christmas spirit had not been crushed after all. I set out to my car and found two candy canes stuck under the windshield wiper blade with that little note on it again…You’ve been RACK’d!! My smile got even bigger. Some days can surely be trying when you work with the stress of traumas and real life situations of life and death in a health care setting. Thank you to the mysterious RACKer hitting the hospital, you de-stressed my day and restored my faith in others to do good unto one another.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Black Friday brings this to my mind……..

There must be more to life than having everything.
(quote by Maurice Sendak)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

American Author #2 Nathaniel Hawthorne

Young Hawthorne
American Author #2            Nathaniel Hawthorne 

I remember reading the House of the Seven Gables in high school and I also remember not really understanding it too well. So I decided to re-visit some of this author’s work to try and get a better picture of what he is all about. To finish this particular quest of mine, I suppose I will have to read Seven Gables again, from an adult point of view and see if it makes any more sense to me now. But, I started off my study this time with some of his stories that I found on Gutenberg, to broaden my horizons a bit.

Hawthorne was born on July 4th, in Salem, Mass. His writings centered on the New England portion of the U.S. Being in Salem, in and of itself, would be good fodder to stoke the imagination but he also approached writing from a Puritan point of view and wrote about moral allegory. His works can be classified as dark romanticism and generally have a complex moral undertone or meaning.

When he was 16 yrs old, Hawthorne started a handwritten newspaper called “The Spectator”.  He was a contemporary of Emerson, Longfellow, Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Thoreau. He knew Franklin Pierce and Melville dedicated Moby Dick to Hawthorne. That’s quite a powerful list of important acquaintances and friends!

 The Scarlet Letter is supposed to be one of the most important works by Hawthorne. Other works include Twice-Told Tales, Young Goodman Brown, many others not listed, and the stories I recently read Chippings with a Chisel and Buds and Bird Voices.
Here are some vocabulary words I learned while reading these two stories:

Exuviae- something stripped off the body, cast off skins or coverings of various organisms.
Penurious- stingy, scanty, yielding little.
Lugubrious- mournful or gloomy, dismal, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.
Bedizened- to ornament or dress in a showy or gaudy manner.
Torpid- dormant, numbed, lethargic or apathetic.
Verdure- vigorous greenery, the lush greenness of flourishing vegetation.
Seine- a fish net that hangs vertically in the water (also the name of a river in France).

I feel so educated now my eyebrows are going way up!!!!! Ha!
In Chippings with a Chisel the author muses over conversations he’s having with a skilled workman who uses a chisel to fashion decorations and titles on headstones. The subject matter discussed is likened to life and ponderings about the meanings of sometimes everyday things, joys and sorrows and short stories about peoples loved ones who have passed on as they come to the skilled chisel-man to pick out gravestones. I loved the author’s descriptive language and enjoyed the story.

A few quotes to illustrate the descriptive language: In spite of his gray head and wrinkled brow, he was quite like a child in all matters…

Soul clings to soul; the living dust has a sympathy with the dust of the grave…

A comely woman, with a pretty rosebud of a daughter, came to select a
gravestone for a twin-daughter…
"They are not under the sod," I rejoined; "then why should I mark the
spot where there is no treasure hidden!

In Buds and Bird Voices the author is describing his native New England and the gardens and citizens of nature that he is observing. He muses again about what meanings these things he is observing have to everyday life and uses personification to give human characteristics and emotions to non-human things. I enjoyed this story and would like to read more by Hawthorne in the future.

But who can estimate the power of gentle influences, whether amid material desolation or the moral winter of man's heart?

The moss-grown willow- tree which for forty years past has overshadowed these western windows will be among the first to put on its green attire.

In the garden are the dried bean-vines, the brown stalks of the asparagus-bed, and
melancholy old cabbages…

Along the hither shore a row of trees stood up to their knees in water; 

The blackbirds, three species of which consort together, are the noisiest of all our feathered citizens. Great companies of them--more than the famous "four-and-twenty" whom Mother Goose has immortalized--congregate in contiguous treetops and
vociferate with all the clamor and confusion of a turbulent political meeting.

Older Hawthorne

Hawthorne Quote:
 “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nov. 14, 2011

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to end; it's about learning to dance in the rain.’

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Broadsword" by Jethro Tull

I see a dark sail on the horizon set under a black
cloud that hides the sun.

Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.


Get up to the roundhouse on the cliff-top standing.
Take women and children and bed them down.

Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.

Bless with a hard heart those who surround me.

Bless the women and children who firm our hands.  

Put our backs to the north wind. Hold fast by the river.


Sweet memories to drive us on for the motherland.


Friday, November 4, 2011

How not to itch!

Itching is my enemy! It will bring me down into the depths of itch h-e-double toothpicks. I’ll get all upset. I’ll cry, and then because the itching feels so good and I am super frustrated, I will itch until it bleeds. Then I will suffer for a few more weeks while it heals and hope that I do not get a secondary staph infection from so much itching. Then the vicious cycle will repeat itself over and over again. Discomfort and hopelessness, itch until it hurts, regret it and be extra uncomfortable, hope and hopelessness. It’s the story of the last 8 years or so of my life. If the Middle East terrorists had my vasculitis, we’d have no trouble putting them in their place!! This misery is something I would have a hard time wishing on my worst enemy because it truly has been a torture test.

How not to itch?? Well, having a bit of hope goes a long way towards giving you the motivation to even desire not to itch. When you are in survival mode and lose hope you think of all kinds of unconventional ways to relieve yourself of the itching burden and just scratch like there is no tomorrow. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with God about this whole thing. If I am not supposed to have to bear more than I am able, why does this keep happening to me? I am slowly being driven crazy and losing my faith…but that is more reason to grow more faith and endure to the end. It is a rotten dilemma sometimes. Now I can say the hate has subsided and I have more hope but don’t ask me about it on an especially itchy day!!

How not to itch……how not to get a secondary infection from your itching…take a bath with vinegar in the water, take a bath with ½ cup of bleach in the water and soak until you are wrinkly. Yes I bleach myself a few times a week! Get some Vanicream, some sort of eczema crème, non irritating crème for sensitive skin, and slather it on morning and evening. If your crème is in a tub use plastic spoons to get some of it out. DO NOT stick your staph laden fingers in the tub or you will have a recipe for torture next time you use it as the staph will quickly multiply and grace your skin with their irritating presence once again. Use some clean socks as mitts and cover your hands when you go to bed so you can’t itch while you are laying there in bed. Cut down all your fingernails so they are less dangerous to your skin if you do happen to absent mindedly do a bit of itching. Beautify your freshly cut nails with a manicure and polish so you are motivated not to ruin it if you itch!! Remember your nails are not weapons of mass destruction, they are an asset to your beauty, lol!!!!

Change your bath towel every time you use it, and never, never, use it after you have dried your staph ridden footsies! No matter how much you lather them up and clean them, they are still filled with nasty staph buggers waiting to wreak havoc on your itch damaged skin. Normally you would be able to fight the staph off, but when the docs are suppressing your immune system because of vasculitis it’s a different story and you are vulnerable. Why do feet stink so? Well, that is the smell of staph, I worked in a microbiology lab for 12 years and I know the smell of a petrie dish full of staph better than your average person!

Lastly, don’t let your Chihuahua, loving as she might be, lick you up and down where you have been itching!!!!! You might think it is cute that she is so affectionate and is grooming you but…she really has a taste for your blood…mohaahaahaaa!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Old Song...

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I miss my Mom and I wanted to go visit her next weekend (It’s a five hour drive to her house) but I could not get anyone to take my shift at the hospital so I can’t go. Bummer. Mom and I became much closer after I finished my teenage years, and I have realized what a jerk of a teenage daughter I was then, but she always freely gave me her love and cared for me in spite of my brattiness. Thanks Mom!!! As a child she would occasionally sing a song to me as a lullaby and I remember feeling very comforted when she did it. Once we were sitting in the car in the early evening, waiting for who knows what, but she stroked my hair and sang this song to me. I have always remembered those tender moments with my Mom. I found out recently this was a hit in the 40’s! Perry Como did it, also Dean Martin, and a few other artists of the era. I found a rendition on You Tube to share with you…..Here’s the song:

The Alphabet Lullaby

A- You’re adorable
B -you’re so beautiful
C -you’re the cutest thing I know
D -you’re a darling and
E -you’re exciting and
F -you’re the fairest in the world.
G -you look good to me
H -you’re so heavenly
 I -you’re the one I idolize
J -we’re like Jack and Jill
K -you’re so kissable
L -is the love light in you’re eyes
M, N, O, P, I could go on all day…..
Q, R, S, T, Alphabetically speaking, you’re O.K.
U-   make my life complete
V-   means you’re very sweet
W, X, Y, Z,
Its fun to wander through, the alphabet with you
To tell you what you mean to me. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Feather of Ma'at

Has your soul been weighed in the balance and found wanting???


Ma’at, the Lady of Truth, a goddess of the ancient Egyptians. She was charged with bringing order to the chaotic universe and maintaining it. Her symbol, the feather, stands for the lightness of truth, justice, balance, and the law. The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul resided in the heart. When someone arrived in the underworld their soul (heart) was weighed against the Feather of Ma’at to see if they were worthy. One’s life is judged in the “moment of truth” when the heart of the dead is weighed for sincerity.

In the Bible, you can also read of the account of the writing in the wall when Daniel is asked to explain the words about the fate of Babylon to Belshazzar.

“Mene Mene Tekel Uparsin” Thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting. (Old Testament of the bible; Daniel 5:27)

“Life is given to the peaceful and death is given to the criminal.” (From the Shabaka Stone.)

“Life is a means of education and a beneficial trial.” (From the Cabalah.)

“Our life is a time of probation.” (Nephi, from the Book of Mormon.)

See also pseudeigraphic/apocalyptic literature- Testament of Abraham 12-13 speaking about judgment and weighing of the soul.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday!

How I love my days off!!! Today was sweet, ice cream for lunch (yes, really) and I accomplished a lot, even though there is laundry still waiting in the washer and dryer.

Our sweet kitty, Belle, who is 14 yrs old and recently lost an eye, had her surgical staples removed today and is doing very well. She’s got her old spunk back. 

                          (This is Belle before a foxtail from the grass ulcerated one of her eyes.)

I went visiting teaching, was able to do a bit of Family History work, indexed two batches of Italian Matrimonio records, found some time to write and my vasculitis isn’t getting the better of me. I’m on a roll!! Yay! I wish every day could go so well.

Yesterday JoDee and I peeled tons of home grown yummy ripe tomatoes and made salsa. I’ve been making this recipe for cooked salsa and home canning it for years. If you do it properly there is nothing to worry about safety- wise. While the salsa simmered we ran out to have lunch and pop into a few stores. When I am with JoDee and my sweet little1 ½ yr old granddaughter time really flies. We could and do spent hours together and it is a real joy in my life to have them as family.

Some of our favorite stores are Ulta, Kohls, Target, any and all fabric and craft shops, various eateries, Barnes and Noble, and the ubiquitous, (but not necessarily a favorite) Wally World (aka Wal-mart). 

Our salsa needed a little spicing up after our taste test when we returned home so I added some chopped jalapeno peppers. That did the trick and it now has a nice after-bite to it!! The down side of peeling tons of deliciously ripe tomatoes and making the salsa is…at the end of the day you only wind up with 4 teeny little pint jars of the stuff. Oh well, it’s still worth making though. If you are interested in the recipe please send me a comment, because I don’t know if there are many people out there that home can anymore and I am feeling too lazy to post it right now. I use a steamer/water bath kettle that I have had for about 25 yrs. It has served us well and preserved many a fruit, pickle, and jelly for us in the past. 

Our homemade salsa
Hubby made some wonderful peach jam a few weeks ago, as we were up to our ears in delectable peaches from the silly scraggly peach tree in the yard. That little tree gets crowded out by the cottonwoods and pines in the back but every year it still produces tons, I mean tons, of lovely peaches. There are always too many for us to eat by ourselves so we share, and make jam! Thank you very much little peach tree!!

Monday, September 26, 2011


I finished reading the two e-books I received from LibraryThing, a book site I am a member of. I received them because I joined the reviewers club. Each month you can sign up and participate in a drawing for certain books. If you are selected you get a free copy and in return for the copy you are asked to write a review of the book. I have ‘won’ four e-books this way. Sometimes you can even get a bound book but so far I haven’t. It is interesting for those who enjoy reading and don’t mind trying new genres/authors every once in a while.

The two books were Let’s Get Digital, about self-publishing (very informative) and a novel entitled Wayward Son. The novel turned out to be a bit different than what I was expecting, and it was very, very long, so for a while I couldn’t face slogging through it anymore. The pace did pick up at the end, and even though it was interesting I think it needs a good edit!! I wound up liking it, overall, but it took a lot of perseverance to get through it. Shortening it up to keep it less predictable and more action filled are two things I will suggest in my review (I need to formally write it down and post it).

There has been such an explosion of self-publishing, and with digital media there really are thousands of choices out there for people to read. Still, I think publishing houses charging ridiculous prices for no paper are fleecing people but I’m hoping after a while the market will calm down a bit. Electronic copies shouldn’t cost more than an actual book, geez! There is much quality reading material available for free or minimal cost, you don’t necessarily have to pay those high prices. I have found so much free and low cost stuff for my e-reader, I will be happy for a very long time digesting all of it!!!

I also just finished reading Garden Spells earlier tonight. I really enjoyed it. I loved the character of the little girl, Bay. I’ll need to write a review for that, too, and would consider reading more of the authors work. Unfortunately, I paid one of those ridiculous prices for it as it was a new release. Those darned free samples can be a real magnet to make you want to buy the rest of the book and “have it on your kindle in less than a minute”!! Well, that marketing ploy worked. I also can’t wait to read the rest of Switched- alas the sample was 300 pages long. Now I have to wait! I burned through those 300 pages quite fast, but am unable to buy until January because the formerly self-published indie author has recently signed a deal with a publishing house. ARGH! I’m glad for her success, it means there will be a printed copy of it and maybe a movie, the story is good, but I wish I would have downloaded it when it was free and the sequel was just a few dollars a couple of months ago! I don’t mind paying to reward the author for all their hard work, but now…I wait!

Monday, September 19, 2011

American Authors-1

I’ve challenged myself to learn more about American authors. I’d like to read at least one poem or other writing by each one that is being studied. I guess I should have taken a few literature classes in college, since I enjoyed them in high school, but I was too busy working and taking classes for that science degree. Here is a poem I liked from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

On the Beach at Night, Alone by Walt Whitman

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining- I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future.
A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same,
All distances of place, however wide,
All distances of time- all inanimate forms,
All Souls- all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes- the fishes, the brutes,
All men and women-me also;
All nations, colors, barbarians, civilizations, languages;
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe or any globe;
All lives and deaths-all of the past, present, future;
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, and shall forever span
Them, and compactly hold them, and enclose them.

American author Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I’ve been reminiscing like many others today on the anniversary of 9-11. Yes, I will never forget the horror I saw on my TV screen that morning and it has really changed our world, and (in my opinion) not for the better, either. Whether you believe it was a big bad government conspiracy or whether you believe it was crazed terrorists is irrelevant, these heinous deeds have affected all our lives regardless of who actually orchestrated them.

Will you ever think of Muslims or persons from the Middle East in the same way again?

Did you really ever think of Muslims before 9-11?

Should we have a war on terror? When is war justified?

Homeland Security, what say you? Does it violate citizens/constitutional rights or protect us?

How should traitors be treated?

Is there ever a justification for torture to get information that could supposedly save lives?

And do you like being treated as “guilty until proven innocent” by way of a virtual strip search every time you travel by air? Does this make you feel more secure/does it keep us safer?

P.S. I think it might be a good idea to rebuild the twin towers, it could show the world America isn’t afraid.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Musing on a Monday

Fall is definitely in the air, where did the summer go? Time seems to fly by faster now that I am over the hill! I spent a quiet weekend at (work) the hospital, thank goodness! That means less people were out there doing stupid things and getting themselves hurt. I’ve had a hard time lately, my vasculitis has really been painful so I have not been getting much sleep and have had to resort to taking steroids. They make me gain weight, but I guess it is better than being driven crazy form the pain and itching. During my sleepless nights I have been reading like crazy from my new kindle that hubby gave me as a birthday present. There’s nothing like a good book to keep the mind suitably occupied (then I don’t think about the itches…)

The questions today- I am borrowing from Dana Huff’s Much Divine Madness blog, and she calls it ‘Musing Mondays’. She has a lot of good content about reading and book reviews on her blog. Play along with me and do some musing about these questions…

  1. What was the name of the last book you borrowed from the library?
  2. What was the last book you purchased?
  3. The last book you cried over?
  4. The last book you disliked and could not finish reading?
  5. The last book you read and loved?
  6. The last book that was given to you or that you received for review?
  7. The last book you gave to someone?
  8. When was the last time you stayed up way too late reading?

My answers:

  1. I checked out ‘Citizen of the Galaxy’ by Robert Heinlein from the local library about a week ago and I am about 1/3 of the way into it. I’ve wanted to dig into some good old fashioned sci fi lately.  I go to the library weekly, just to poke around a bit. I don’t check out books each time but, if they would let me check out 100 books, I would probably do it just because I like having them around.
  2. One of the last books I purchased was a copy of ‘Twilight’ for a buck, at the local thrift store. I’ve been resisting reading it but with a new movie installment coming out soon, I gave in and figured I had better find out what all the hype over this series is about. Heck, it only cost me 100 pennies. I can always donate it back to the thrift store when I’m done with it.
  3. The last cry fest I had while reading a book was a few weeks ago as I read ‘Hunger Games’. It is a pretty violent book for young adults, imho. I really became entwined with the characters while reading it. Katniss, don’t be so dumb, give Peta a chance will you!!! I cried when Rue died and Katniss decorated her body with flowers. All in all, the whole book was quite emotionally wrenching.
  4. I picked up ‘The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane’ at Barnes and Noble and put it down a few days later. The premise for the book seemed quite intriguing but I could not get past the author’s writing style. It was all hoity toity and it seemed like the author was just trying to prove to the reader how astute and intelligent she was by writing this book. After a few chapters I asked myself why I was wasting my time reading it and decided that there were plenty of other books I could like if I just put this one down-and picked up something else.
  5. Recently I read and loved ‘Only Salt Remains’ by Meryl McQueen. I stumbled upon it in the Kindle store and downloaded it for $0.99. I am interested in just about any book dealing with Sicily because that is where my grandparents were born. It was the bittersweet saga of the life of two orphaned brothers scratching out a living in Sicily and one of them eventually immigrates to the USA. The author seems to have thorough background knowledge of what southern Italians/ Sicilians are like because I found myself saying over and over again as I read it…”Yes, my relatives are like that,” “Oh, yes, they do that,” and “That is similar to how my relatives think and do things!” It is rather a sad tale tinged with fatalism, just like the people who lived there at the time. A fascinating read.
  6. I ‘won’ two e-books from the author give-away which is a monthly feature on the site LibraryThing, For the price of a book review written by you and posted on the site,  you can enter lotteries to get free books every month. I am a member of this site, a big spender, too because it is a whopping $20 dollars for a life time membership. The site lets you catalog your books, post book reviews, there are numerous discussion and challenge groups, personalized recommendations of more books you might like, networking with other book lovers and authors, etc. etc. The one I received and read this month was ‘Let’s Get Digital, a Guide to Self-Publishing and why you should do it’ by David Gaughan. It was a really good book that introduces would-be authors to the world of digital publishing. It contains a lot of useful information and the author also lets people download copies of his book for free at Smashwords. I hope I can actually be a published author this way in the future.
  7. The last book I gave to someone was the ‘Worldwide Ward Cookbook’ which I included as part of my niece’s wedding present a little over a week ago.
  8. I  have to admit guilt and throw myself on the mercy of the court for the last one because I stay up too late reading almost every single evening!!  Until next time………ciao!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The End of the Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe's Cat

On a night quite unenchanting,
when the rain was downward slanting,
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven,
in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,
"There is nothing I like more"
Soft upon the rug I treaded,
calm and careful as I headed
Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the bard and birdie chattered,
I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor -
Bric-a-brac and junk galore.
Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth -
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly lept up, pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore -
Only this and not much more.
"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out,
"Pussycat, it's time I dried out!
Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;
How I've wallowed in self-pity,
while my gallant, valiant kitty
Put and end to that damned ditty" - then I heard him start to snore.
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
Jumped - and smashed it on the floor. 

Had a wonderful birthday!!!! My coworkers helped put on a big sugar-fest with all kinds of goodies for the celebration!! Then hubby, my son and I went out for a nice dinner and hubby surprised me with a kindle e-book reader as a present. Wow, am I loved or what!!! It's not so bad having birthdays anymore, once you are over the hill it doesn't matter if you are getting older. I feel as young and happy as ever. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Saturday V11.2

10 Things that made me happy this week!

1. Oreo cookies
2. Seeing my nieces and nephews
3. Dying my hair pink for a day
4. Traveling in Colorado
5. A big beautiful blue sky
6. Playing with little Brianna
7. Attending the Incubus concert
8. Browsing the aisles at Barnes and Noble
9. Talking with my hubby
10. Canoli and gelato

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

(August 10, 2011) Sci Fi/Fantasy Award Winners by Women Authors

This list came from the website Worlds Without End. It's an interesting site, so check it out!I would love to say I have read all of these someday.

Award Winning Women Science Fiction Authors

1. 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness- Ursula K. Le Guin
2. 1971 The Lathe of Heaven- Ursula K. Le Guin
3. 1974 The Dispossessed- Ursula K. Le Guin
4. 1974 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld- P.A. McKillip
5. 1976 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang- Kate Wilhelm
6. 1978 Dreamsnake- Vonda McIntyre
7. 1979 Watchtower- Elizabeth A. Lynn
8. 1979 Death’s Master- Tanith Lee
9. 1979 Harpest in the Wind- P.A, McKillip
10. 1980 The Snow Queen- Joan D. Vinge
11. 1981 Downbelow Station- CJ Cherryh (in my tbr pile)
12. 1982 The Mists of Avalon- Marian Zimmer Bradley (read)
13. 1985 The Handmaids Tale- Margaret Atwood (read)
14. 1987 Strange Toys- Patricia Gary
15. 1986 A Door Into Ocean- Joan Slonczewski
16. 1986 The Falling Woman- Pat Murphy
17. 1987 Lincoln’s Dreams- Connie Willis
18. 1988 Falling Free- Lois McMaster Bujold
19. 1988 Cyteen- C.J.Cherryh
20. 1988 The Healer’s War- Elizabeth A. Scarborough
21. 1990 Points of Departure- Pat Murphy
22. 1990 Tehanu- Ursula K .Le Guin (read)
23. 1990 Thomas the Rhymer- Ellen Kushner
24. 1990 The Vor Game- Lois McMaster Bujold
25. 1991 Synners- Pat Gadigan
26. 1991 Beauty- Sheri S.Tepper
27. 1991 Barrayar- Lois McMaster Bujold
28. 1992 Unquenchable Fire- Rachel Pollack
29. 1992 The Doomsday Book- Connie Willis (read)
30. 1992 He, She and It- Marge Percy
31. 1994 Fools- Pat Cadigan
32. 1994 Mirror Dance- Lois Mc Master Bujold
33. 1995 Slow River- Nicola Griffith
34. 1996 Godmother Night- Rachel Pollack
35. 1996 The Sparrow- Mary Doria Russell
36. 1997 The Moon and the Sun- Vonda McIntyre
37. 1998 Dreaming in Smoke- Tricia Sullivan
38. 1998 The Antelope Wife- Louise Erdrich
39. 1998 To Say Nothing of the Dog- Connie Willis (tbr pile)
40. 1998 Parable of the Talents- Octavia Butler
41. 1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban- J.K. Rowling (read)
42. 2000 Ash- Mary Gentile
43. 2000 The Telling- Ursula K. Le Guin
44. 2000 The Quantum Rose- Catherine Asaro
45. 2000 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire- J.K. Rowling (read)
46. 2001 Bold as Love- Gwyneth Jones
47. 2001 The Other Wind- Ursula K. Le Guin
48. 2001 Passage- Connie Willis
49. 2002 The Mount- Carol Emshwaller
50. 2002 Ombria in Shadow- Patricia A. McKillip
51. 2002 Probability Space- Nancy Kress
52. 2003 The Speed of Dark- Elizabeth Moon
53. 2004 Life- Gwyneth Jones
54. 2003 Tooth and Claw- Jo Walton
55. 2003 Paladin of Souls- Lois McMaster Bujold
56. 2004 Jonathan Strange & Dr. Norrell- Susanna Clarke
57. 2005 War Surf- M.M. Buckner
58. 2006 Spin Control- Chris Moriarty
59. 2006 The Privilege of the Sword- Ellen Kushner
60. 2007 In War Times- Kathleen Ann Goodman
61. 2007 Powers- Ursula K. Le Guin (read)
62. 2008 Tender Morsels- Margo Lanagan
63. 2008 Lavinia- Ursulca K. Le Guin (tried to read, found it boring)
64. 2009 Bitter Angels- CC Anderson
65. 2009 Boneshaker- Cherie Priest
66. 2010 Zoo City- Lauren Beukes
67. 2010 Blackout- Connie Willis (tbr pile)
68. 2010 All Clear- Connie Willis

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the road!

Just returned home from a great trip to St. George! I had a wonderful travelling companion, my daughter-in-law and sweet little granddaughter. It lifts my spirits to visit my Mom. Deep down inside I guess even 50 yr old grandmas need their ‘mummy’ once in a while!

• Left in the early a.m. before it had a chance to get too terribly hot as it is over 100 F degrees in St. George this time of year.
• We didn’t want any melted tires like that time we drove to Cali in the summer and had to buy a new set of tires in Las Vegas.
• The trip down was good and happily uneventful except for a lot of road construction on the freeway.
• We started listening to a recording of the “Hunger Games” during the trip. Whoa, good story, I did not really get sleepy driving.
• After a snack and some visiting with Mom and Norm, we went out to Kohl’s to get matching shirts as we are silly and like that sort of thing.

• Left about 10:00 am for a trip to Las Vegas to hunt for the outlet malls and have some fun girl time together.
• Parked in the garage at Caesar’s Palace and enjoyed the inside mall there.
• Had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and window-shopped.
• Walked over to the Mirage to see the gardens.
• Dang, it was 107 in the shade there in Las Vegas!
• Walked over to Treasure Island to check things out there.
• We found treasure at one of the pick-your-own-pearl out of an oyster shell shops inside Treasure Island. Mom found a coral pink one, Jo and I found green-pink pearls, and Bri picked a bonus pearl. She chose a rather smallish oyster and inside was a beautiful blue pearl. All were good sized and bigger than the examples they showed us. Pretty exciting, yeah it’s a gimmick but now I can’t wait to go again and pick another pearl. Mom had hers made into a lovely ring, which she has always wanted to match her other pearl jewelry. I had mine mounted in a sterling lizard for a necklace and Bri’s was mounted for a necklace also. Jo is saving the gorgeous blue one for something else.
• Visited the M & M factory and Coke-a-Cola store too. Cokes from around the world were mostly nasty tasting and Bri was so tired and grumpy by this time we had to leave. Mom was also pretty worn out as well.
• Left sin city just as it was getting dark as I did not want to be anywhere near the strip when the more colorful types decided to venture out.
• We never made it to the outlet mall but we had a great time anyway! Can’t wait to go again!

• Went to Michael’s crafts and picked up some greenery and silk flowers to redecorate my Mom’s floral arrangements, as that is one thing I usually do every time I visit. This time she wanted blue accents.
• Was treated to an early birthday lunch by Mom and Norm at a Japanese restaurant….ton katsu...yes, please. I did not want to gross everyone out by eating too much sushi though as Jo hates fish and nobody else at the table wanted to indulge. Oh well.
• Went with Mom to the re-hab center where she goes every Friday and helped with Bingo! Got a prize for helping, too.

• No sleeping in for us, we were off to get pics of the four of us in our matching shirts!
• Made a quick stop at Michael’s to get the last few bits of greenery for Mom’s arrangements.
• Had lunch with Jo’s cousins, Aunt and Uncle, etc. at their old standby Ernesto’s, where the food is yummy, his wife makes the mole, and the Latino trumpets happily add to the atmosphere while you eat.
• After that it was a quick stop at the Kid to Kid store to look for bargains and Robert’s Crafts to hunt down a different type of flowers for the hair clips Jo was making. That little Cabbage Patch baby doll I found will wash up nicely for Bri!
• Off to the Splash Path in the afternoon, a free water attraction downtown, and a ride on the carousel. What fun! Wow I’ve never seen a toddling baby run as fast as Bri did to play in that water!
• Well, Bri thought the carousel horses were fun until they started moving up and down, then…panic… and reaching for Grandma to cuddle her. All in all, a super day with super good company.
• Headed for home on Sunday and my own bed and pillow will feel really good tonight!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011

Yay for a quiet day at the hospital! I was surfing because it was so quiet and found a fun blog with links to lots of reading challenges.I signed up for a few of them and am always excited to discover new books. Sorry I can't seem to get the linky widget to work properly, you will need to copy and paste if you want to check these blogs out.

Found another blog and liked the idea of posting ten things that made me happy this week.It's called 'Happy Saturday' on the 'after I do' blog

Here is my list.....

Things that made me happy this week :)
1. Being with my Hubby
2. Spending a day off with Jo'Dee, Paul and Brianna
3. Eating home made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
4. Taking naps
5. Petting my dog
6. Having extra days off from work
7. Having a cool shower on a hot day
8. Hearing some new music by one of my favorite bands
9. Reading books
10. Sewing fun clothes for my two sweet granddaughters

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011

Sicilian Proverbs - a sampling

“Who has got health and freedom is rich and doesn’t know it.”

“Chi ha salute e liberta e ricco e non lo sa.”

“If you want to try the punishments of hell; spend the winter in Messina and the summer in Palermo.”

“Se vuoi provare le pene dell’inferno, pass l’inverno a Messina, e l’estate a Palermo.”

“An empty sack can’t stand tall.” “Sacco vuoto non puo reggersi piedi.”

“A watched pot never boils.” “Pentola guardata spesso non bolle mai.”

“Good times and bad times don’t last forever.”

“Buon tempo e brutto tempo non durano sempre.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 8, 2011

Songs Were Washing Up
By Francesca Forrest

Songs were washing up on the shore
Smooth as sea glass, in greens and blues
We picked them up and held them to our ears
Like shells
And heard their wave-abraded tunes
Just faintly, faintly
We couldn’t catch the words.

One day while casually looking for interesting things to read on the net I came across some stories by this author. I really enjoyed reading “Cory’s Father”, “Cataracts”, and “The Stars Chill Song”, I also found this poem to share with you. Here are some links if you think you might like some of Francesca Forrest's fantasy/speculative fiction stories. There's also a lot to be explored on those sites besides the stories.
Is the address for "Cataracts"
Is the address for"Cory's Father"
Is the address for "The Stars Chill Song"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wisdom from Aesop

Learning from Aesop’s Fables:

Now that I have a “smart phone”, I find myself exploring the free offerings of various e-book readers that I have installed on it as “apps”. Generally, you have free access to classic literature that has had the copyright expire and they are considered in the public domain. Some apps also give you free samples of books to entice you to buy them.
But, you can find lots of free stories and many others for a few dollars, without having to pay best-seller prices for them, too. One free offering I downloaded along with Ivanhoe, Treasure Island and The Secret Garden, was a collection of Aesop’s Fables. I hadn’t read those fables since I was a kid so it seemed interesting to me to re-read them as an adult.

Not into e-books? Fine, check your local library or just “google” Aesop’s fables and you will find collections of stories, as well as more info about Aesop, and other folkloric traditions on the net in the comfort of your living room.

Besides the fact that I really, really, love having access to several books at my fingertips on my smart phone, I rather enjoyed reading those fables again. Any one of these stories could provide a nice beginning for thoughtful discussion on a multitude of subjects, and these simple fables have been around for generations.

For the seeking mind there is always food for thought or some nugget of knowledge to be gleaned from reading and re-reading a variety of books, including these fables. Here are a few things that seemed worth remembering as I went through those old fables again:

The Wolf and the Lamb…..the wolf makes every ridiculous excuse in the world to justify the fact that he wants to eat the lamb for dinner, even after they come to a so called agreement.

“The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”

The story rather reminded me of how our government seems to be acting now-a-days.
(Strip searches at the airport anyone???)

There is lots of good advice for daily living in those fables too! Most of the tales use animal characters to tell a simple story about right and wrong, pride, the value of work, making the best of your lot in life, etc. messages that I feel are sorely needed today! More gems…..

“It is wise to turn circumstance to good account.”

“The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.”

“No arguments will give courage to the coward.”

“Fair weather friends are not worth much.”

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

“If men had all they wished, they would often be ruined.”

“Look before you leap.”

“Do not attempt to hide things which cannot be hidden.”

“He is wise who is warned by the misfortune of others.”

“Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.”

“Whatever you do, do with all your might.”

“Those who seek to please everybody, please nobody.”

The Crab and Its Mother

A CRAB said to her son, "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward." The young Crab replied: "Quite true, dear Mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it." The Mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child. “Example is more powerful than precept.”

The Fox and the Grapes

ONE hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

The Bear and the Two Travelers

TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on
their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and
concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he
must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came
up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held
his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he
could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch
a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler
descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend
what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this
advice," his companion replied. "Never travel with a friend who
deserts you at the approach of danger."

"Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends."

Backround information wiki:

Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica are a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller supposed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today. Many of the stories, such as The Fox and the Grapes (from which the idiom "sour grapes" derives), The Tortoise and the Hare, The North Wind and the Sun, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Grasshopper are well-known throughout the world.