Sunday, September 12, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So what's my problem with this tale? First, I cannot tolerate authors who make gratuitous use of events - especially 9/11. Setting can be established without mention of this event. Add to that the use of the US Airways Flight 1549 to bring Ruthie to appreciate/understand/love her sister? Lame.
Second, the over use of research. All authors research for their novels - it is their job. A good researcher has more notes than they will ever use. This read smacked of an overt attempt to use every stinking bit of it. We know the main character loves food. We do not need to know that the wings ordered at the bar are "meaty" when she is in the midst of an argument with her husband over her unwillingness to have a baby. Pointless.
Third, the reader needs a character with whom they can strongly identify or hate. Nope. Ruthie is a sweet child who once she becomes an "adult" is whiny and petulant. Julia, for whom we should have no sympathy, is actually the more balanced of the two.
Fourth, authors should never overtly push their political agendas in a narrative. Julia's "wanna be a Jew", Catholic bashing was just abhorrent. The coffee scene was nice; a young couple meets for hours and has a great time talking. She finds out that he is pro-life and she suddenly leaves and then refuses his phone calls. Only 9/ll and going to church brings them together? Lame.
Finally, an unnecessarily complex plot always muddies the waters. Relationships between sisters is difficult. The custody arrangements made in the will, while plausible, was not necessary. Julia could have experienced the same issues living with her sister after the death of the parents. Knocking on the door of the old homestead, being invited in with the country club drunk and being given the mom's old treasures found in a 'secret' closet? I could go on and on...
I need a really good book to flush this one out of my mind!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
So my good deeds for the day? Taking the neighbor's dog to the vet - again. And I donated blood to the Red Cross.
Then I ate cake.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The girl child has now worked over 14 consecutive days between babysitting, a desk job and an internship. The realization that you cannot call into work sick 15 minutes before your start time is a hard one.
The mother is learning it sucks to have two additional drivers who always want a car!
Friday, August 13, 2010
- One of our hometown finest treating his newly adopted cat to a special bath in the trunk of his car.
- The 17 year old new driver thinking I should know where she is when she is lost.
- The other 17 year old thinking we should not ask how his first date went.
- Lindsay Lohan.
- New York State allowing people who already have a phone to use their 'free' cell phone service.
- The 'Real Housewives' series.
- End of life Medicare spending.
- Thinking that this tuition is realistic for this program.
- Me, after a full month of vacation.
- Planning a mother-daughter road trip.
*Not to be implied that all items are equal in value or scope.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
It's done. And you know you are in trouble when you cannot find a decent review. It's like this: Kate Morton loves old books and brilliant authors and she has a serious problem in the amount of influence she allows them to have in her writing. Too much like The Secret Garden, too much Dickens, and many others of whom I am sure are there, but of whom I have not the knowledge.
But - I could not put the flipping thing down. Better than her last book, yet I am always shocked at what her editors allow.
So what did my first month of vacation look like? London, Paris, Barcelona, four days of curriculum writing, about 5 books, a little bit of knitting, a 50th birthday party, lots of cleaning and washing up, far too many hours on the internet, many walks with the dog, some spinning, a big family picnic, far too many hours on the telephone, Shakespeare in the Park, Dug's Dive, some ice cream, a lot of beer, a birthday tea, letter writing to a friend, and lots of time in the car with the kid who needs a license.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
My son just got his driver's license and he is obsessed with fitting out the car with a proper sound system. My niece has a job in a law firm that has inspired her to go to law school. A woman in Chicago was "living Oprah" for a full year. My daughters fill their days with activities that focused on their personal goals.
Me? I got nothin'. Absolutely nothin'! And I miss that. I miss waking up in the morning itching to start the day. I miss the excitement that comes from each of those little milestones along the way. And really I need something to focus on...
...because one of my newest friends is moving away and I am feeling the loss. The last month has been filled with "lasts": the last time we will travel with 'our' group, the last time we get together for tea group, the last time we go to dinner and the movies...
I am trying to be positive. I know there are many 'firsts' to come when we meet again, but I am sad because it will not be the same. The girl who loved change is now the woman who is not willing to accept it in her personal relationships.
So, I am looking for an obsession to fill the void and am open for suggestions:)
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I feel a need to do a top 10...in no particular order:
- Long sunny days
- Rainy days after too many hot days
- Reading for hours under the tree
- Drinking a cold beer on the deck every day at 5:00
- Knitting for hours under the tree
- Napping in between the reading and knitting under the tree
- Walking the dog
- Uncle G's for ice cream with my brother
- Being home for hours on end
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
We left London around 10:00 for Paris. Believe it or not, I actually preferred the ferry from Dover. The train was lovely and fast, but I missed seeing the country side from the bus ride to and from the coast. But I must admit, I enjoyed the nap!
Our hotel - insanely small, no air conditioning - was clean and had a friendly staff. However, the location was horrid! Although only a 20 minute cab ride from the city centre, it was about an 1 1/2 hours from anywhere on the subway. And who can abide the Paris subway? Filthy. HOT. Crowded beyond belief. EF Tours: SHAME on you! Add to the fact that I caught a pickpocket with her hand on my wallet while still in my purse, you can imagine my new found love of the city's finer points.
Anyhoo, after my birthday dinner - great quiche - we hoofed it over to the L' Arc de Triomphe. And I am so glad. Last year I had the opportunity to see it from the window of the tour bus; it is so impressive in person. Seeing it as the sun set throuh the arches was beautiful.
The Eiffel Tower shot was from the following evening after the day at Versailles.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Cardinal Wolsey certainly was one arrogant man to think he could syphon off such sums from the church, build a grand estate and not garner the attention of the king. We were greeted by a guard who wanted to know our business at court on the King's wedding day and then forced into servitude for an hour. Cute idea really. We had wonderful audio guide after our lunch of pasties and tea.
After leaving the cool of the country, we went back to the city where we spent an hour at Harrods and then found a pub in Kensington for an awesome dinner and a pint or so to end the day.
My only London regret? No time for the V&A and Cath Kidston. Next time.
Friday, July 09, 2010
While my tour group visited the Tower of London, three of us headed north. After a great working class lunch we set off on the grand adventure. Armed with a map and no particular place to go we found Spitalfields Market. As it was mid-week, the vendors and stands were at a minimum and what was on hand was a bit more dear than I had hoped. My next quest was the vintage and thrift shops, but apparently one of my companions missed that part of the conversation before heading out and was more than a bit grossed out...so we moved on. After an hour of leisurely walking we found the Geffrye Museum. This was a former alms house that has been converted into a fine display of period rooms and gardens. It was well worth the walk. My favorite was the geranium tree - something I plan on working on this week at home.
Luckily we found a brand new tube stop behind the museum. The Hoxton stop was not on my Streetwise Map, but lucky for us there it was! Kinda fun as one of my favorite knitting podcasters hails from this neighborhood. So as there were no Electric Sheep in sight, we made our way back to the group and moved on to the Hard Rock Cafe. There we had the opportunity to go into the vault to view the guitars and costumes of the music icons. Not really a rock star groupie, but it was pretty neat.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
My monthly book club does not generally double dip on authors so I was surprised when Shanghai Girls was the 'assignment'. I must admit I do agree with a large portion of the linked review, but here are a few thoughts of my own...
...I do not enjoy books that take place over decades
...or that have unsatisfactory endings
...the characters were well developed, yet at times unbelievable
...the history was interesting
...I learned quite a bit about Chinese culture
... even more about Chinese immigration
...the Chinese are the unsung minority of this nation
Monday, May 31, 2010
How fitting that my poppies chose today to bloom! Truly gorgeous...The clip of my plying sample, not so much, and that is why no one shall see it!
And Robert's Rules of Order? I have a friend who is constantly asking if anyone has a copy believe it or not! Well, now she does - or will - once I see her. I found this at the flea market outside of Dewittville this weekend.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
I decided to play "princess" today. I slept in...until I heard poor hubby fall down the stairs. Don't worry, he's fine.
After a nice cup or two of coffee, I watched an episode or two of The Tudors and did a bit of spinning. Isn't it brilliant? Look back a few entries and you will see the Happy Family we did at Raveloe. I plan on plying this with some black super wash wool, but I have yet to decide what it wants to be. At first I thought socks, but we'll see.
Then this princess took herself to her royal chambers and cleaned the bejeebers out of them cuz the chamber maids appear to have been sent to another part of the castle. I was so into my task, I tore the vacuum apart and cleaned out every bit of it as well! Yes, I actually enjoy cleaning...makin' that OCD work for me, right ME?
But the most decadent part of all? Staying in my jammies all day before I get taken out to dinner. Ah, the bliss of it all.
*BTW, if you have not watched The Tudors, you must. The first two episodes were a bit over the top, but now I love it. I almost makes me forget Henry is a real rat bastard. Oh, and Cardinal Woolsey.....
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Monday, May 03, 2010
And seriously, do not ask me to fill out a "Customer Satisfaction Survey" after I lost six hours of my visit with my daughter.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
"When my mother took me to the gynecologist for birth control, you would not believe..
"Oh, that guy's a porno star. Of course I'm sure, I watch at least two of those movies a week!"
"My mother took my phone away, cuz she found the text messages and pictures of me...and she called me a slut."
"Did you notice something strange about student X this morning? The bus driver believed she had marijuana on her and we cannot find it in her locker."
"You have to show up for homeroom or they call your parents, but after that we can take off."
"What do you mean you have to call the police because my kid got caught showing porn to another kid?"
"How was I supposed to do my homework if I never went home last night?"
"It doesn't matter, her mother doesn't care what she does!" "She's right, she really doesn't."
"Why is that table set all fancy?" "Fancy? It's just a normal setting for dinner." "Oh, we never eat at our table, I just take it up to my room and eat there."
And one wonders why they are never excited about school.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Tuesday evening the gang at Raveloe Fibers celebrated the Chinese New Year with its annual Happy Family Event. Our friend and shop owner, Linda, picks up an awesome dinner from Tin Tin to begin our festivities.
After dinner each participant spreads 3 oz of fiber from their personal stash on the table. A totally random selection ranging from natural suri alpaca, creamy soy silk, to rainbow dyed llama. From there we moved to the Rainbow Theme selected by Linda. ROY G. BIV hit the table in order, one color at a time.
Then the fun of rolling the lot into a lovely crayola colored log. We each left with 6 ounces of colorful roving ready for the drum carder. One pass through and it is simply gorgeous!
We spent the remainder of the evening talking about all the ways to prepare and spin. Erica and I chose random grabs of fiber and ran it through the drum carder; from there we are thinking of plying it with black to make the color really pop! Others are planning on selectively pulling out colors to create specific stripes. Our friend, Phyllis, will be blending hers with a cream to white roving before carding.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
, or I should really play the lottery today.
Seriously, have you ever had a day when everything went a tad better than planned? Tonight I am hosting a couples' baby "thing". We are not calling it a shower out of respect to the testosterone inclined in the room. Anyhoo, I needed a cake and really was not keen on ordering a fancy one. I hit the best bakery, Muscoreil's on Niagara Falls Boulevard (you'll see why I am plugging in a sec) and went to the display case. I ask for one of the lovely giant's in the case - one large enough for 16 or so. No problem, but if I cared to spend only $7.00 more I could have the HUGE one to the left with baby proper bit and bobs to serve 40 because the person cancelled their order that morning. No contest. And yes, it does freeze well.
Hit the liquor store, found all the groceries, cleaned and dusted the last minute things and am at the computer by 5:00.
I actually have time to book my vacation - under duress - I am afraid of the cruise my family has convinced me to reserve. Lord, please do not let me spend four days with my face in the head.
Tomorrow is spinning guild! Great program lined up; I just can't wait. We are sure to be standing room only. Hard to believe we are only two months in and our membership is almost 45 strong.
Monday, February 15, 2010
And yes - it really is that orange. Thank goodness I actually look good in it:)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
That left me with some time to visit my oldest niece in Rochester. After our lunch, my brother wanted to hit his favorite comic book store. Crab, crab...where's my yarn store? No fear, I found something just as good: the best used bookstore I have ever seen!
Mr. Westerberg is the nicest man you will ever meet and his store, The Yankee Peddler Bookshop, is a treasure. To the left you will see the under $30 purchase that made my day! I have an irrational attachment to these two authors stemming from a childhood box of books gifted to me by my aunt. The Myrtle Reed cover, Mr. Westerberg told me, was from one of the more 'famous' cover designers of that era. It differs from the other two selections I have of hers. The inside pages are also unique with a sweet little border on each.
Gene Stratton-Porter is the more famous of the two. She wrote many novels based on the forests of the North West. I was thrilled to get this book as so many of her works are so very dear. And as I am not a 'collector' it seems silly for me to spend a week's worth of groceries on one edition.
So the remainder of the day shall be spent on the now clutter free living room with a good cup of tea, my book on cd, and my Olympic UFO project. I'd better get crackin' as I am already two days behind the rest of the knitting Olympians.