Saturday, April 30, 2011


Here is Lucy on Saturday.

I am opposite her but not enclosed in a meshy kitty tent.

I like to protect her when we are on our deck.  There is a mean squirrel who yells at us from the tree tops.  There are two huge crows who seem to stalk us.  There are geese.  There are ducks.  There are turkey vultures sometimes. 

Amidst all of this animal outdoor chaos...Lucy and I have a routine.  She sits and snoozes.  I sit and read.  We get a bit of sun.  We relax.  We watch my husband mow and mulch and weed.  He sometimes joins us for a break or when he is ready to stop his yard work.  He tells us how many weeds are in our lawn and how our neighbors seem to be weed free and he doesn't understand why we have so many weeds and no one else does.  Lucy and I have heard all of this weed talk before.  I am sure we will hear it again, probably next Saturday.   Lucy and I sort of listen while we read and soak up sun.  Lucy and I prefer the pretty part of gardening.  We like to buy flowers and put them in pretty pots and watch them grow.  We don't really like the other part of gardening...the getting your hands dirty part.  I just had a manicure yesterday...after all.

This was our Saturday. 

I hope you are having a lovely weather day...what are you doing this Saturday?

Gardening?  Farmer's Market?  Relaxing outside?  Listening to a loved one go on and on about his weeds?

Friday, April 29, 2011

I found this book to be a sweet and really profound moral tale. It involved only child who was once much loved by her parents. Juniper's parents were once struggling actors who have finally become very famous and esteemed. They have won Emmys and Grammys and Oscars and have a huge mansion and adoring fans and everything they ever thought they wanted. Juniper is miserable. Her parents barely notice her or her dog, Kitty. She is often pushed aside, is home schooled by teachers who often don't stay very long and has no friends. One endearing part of this tale was when Juniper realized she had never run in a race because she never had any one to run with. Juniper loves to look at things with her binoculars and telescopes and night time goggles. One evening, as she again puzzles over the extreme changes in her parents, she sees them both run into the forest behind her house. When they come out of the forest they act very differently so Juniper sets about trying to discover why. The next day, while exploring the forest, she meets Giles, a neighbor who is about her own age but very small, thin and fragile. Giles tells Juniper that he is often picked on and bullied at school.  Giles also relates that his parents are acting the same way that Juniper's parents are acting.  This causes Juniper and Giles to team up to solve this puzzling awful mystery.  Giles is also the person Juniper runs her first race with. This part was truly so sweet. 

Juniper is determined to find out what her parents are getting from the forest and this is where this story becomes a sort of good against evil fairytale. An evil horrible man needs the dreams of people to trick them into thinking they have everything they want. He has a balloon maker imprisoned in the tree who makes balloons that hold the dreams. People sort of exhale their breath into the balloons and this gives strength to the evil shrouded dream snatcher. Juniper has to be strong along with Giles to match wits against the dream stealer.

That is all that I will say. It is worth reading...probably to or with a child...not a young child but perhaps second grade and on. It had scary bits but lots and lots of wholesome good bits.  Juniper is a delightful character...strong, brave, sad, sweet...I was instantly championing her.
 I loved it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weather Affects Me?

New discovery...I am affected by weather...I am weather phobic.  Whether I like it or not...hee hee hee...

I postponed some appointments I had this morning because I saw a hail and tornado warning for a city about 35 minutes away from us.  The weather forecasters kept bleeping into regular programming to warn of this impending weather condition.  I could not imagine driving in hail and 60 mile per hour wind.  I felt stress.  I did not want to go anywhere so...I cancelled.

I am also affected by guilt.  I felt guilty all day because although we did get wind and tons of rain...we didn't get a tornado and we didn't get any hail. 

Now when I go to my appointments tomorrow...I will feel guilty.  I will make profuse apologies.  I will over tip.  I will bring her coffee and a muffin.  I am a wuss.  Is that a proper spelling? 

I am wondering what you would have done in my circumstances.

I also am discovering that once I make a decision...I have a difficult time actually living with it!!!

Does anyone else think that having a blog is like having a pyschiatrist?

One day you are volunteering at the local zoo…you have just been at the batting cages with your friends…you just finished a Chinese food lunch…you hear some strange music and whoopsie…you look into a hippo’s mouth and you are in a totally different world. That, in a nutshell, is what happened to Jason. This new world has a blind king, a slew of characters who are so afraid of the evil emperor that they can scarcely move and a quest. And this quest is a doozy!!! Oh…almost forgot…there is another person who is now lost and or doomed in this world, Rachel. Together Rachel and Jason find themselves encountering amazing danger, performing amazing feats and eating totally weird and often slimy food in order to survive and get back to where they belong.

This was a fast paced interesting novel…not sure I loved it…there were a ton of weird unappetizing things all over the place in this tale. People who can be cut apart and put back together again, people with a seed on the back of their neck who can be killed and then the seed can be planted elsewhere and they can live again, people who are forced to live in horribly awful places in order to protect syllables in a word that when found will undo the evil emperor.

Yep…it is all about the word in this book…sort of…

I can see this book appealing to tons of betweener aged kids…there is enough squeamish and exciting stuff to really spark a reader’s attention. Again…it ended with a puzzle…a maddening puzzle and even though I didn’t love the book I liked it and will have to read the next two in this series.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Am Still Playing Catch Up...With Myself!!!

I have been trying to catch up with my life ever since we returned from Colorado!!!  I am catching up on reviews and email and house stuff and groceries and laundry!!!  Yesterday I did 5 loads of fine washables.  Those are the things that have to be hung on husband and I both own far too many fine washables and for some odd reason my washer turns everything inside out!!!  So I am forever turning things right side in? when I hang them on hangers.  I read too many blogs and get too much email and I haven't been good about commenting lately.  I just got a new laptop and that has been stressful and today the tiles fell out of our shower...what is happening to my life?

Just teasing but...I do like things in working order and I don't like things out of control and lately things seem just a tad out of my control...did I mention that our dormers on the roof have to be painted, and we have to replace the roof and we are changing out the kitchen counters and there is so much yardwork...mulching and planting and weeding and watering.  And yet I just sit here with Lucy on the sofa,  reading and sort of relaxing.

I think I make too many lists.

I can't decide if I should go to BEA or is so close to me...I want to take the train up for a day but I don't know which day to go and...ok...Patty...deep breath?

Does anyone else feel just a teeny bit out of control right now?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Funny, Heartwarming...A Review Of Adventures In Nowhere...

I just finished reading Adventures in Nowhere by John Ames. I read it as part of a PumpUpYourBook promotion but I would have chosen this book to read anyway.

It was sad and sweet and funny and heartbreaking and disturbing. It was a thought provoking Huckleberry Finn kind of book.

The story revolves around Danny Ryan, a 10 year old who lives near the Hillsborough River in Florida in the 1950’s. He has a profoundly dysfunctional father. His father is cruel and reclusive and has unexplainable outbursts of fury. Danny’s mom tries to keep things together while working and caring for a terminally ill daughter, Ruth. There is another daughter, Loretta, still in high school, who is defiant and is the only Ryan who will stand up to their father.

Danny is left to his own devices. He has a friend who is hounded by his overly religious parents. This friend, Alfred, has “boundaries” that have been set by his Bible welding parents and he rarely steps over his boundaries. He has other friends…Buddy…who has an alcoholic for a father and Abigail…who tries to get him interested in Nancy Drew books. And a mystery woman named Donna…who seems to only confuse Danny. And there is always the mystery house across the river that seems to be ever changing in Danny’s mind.

Danny seems to try to spend his days staying out of trouble but trouble manages to find him. His shoes have holes in them, he is always getting bruised and cut and scraped and people seem to try to help him but he doesn’t appear to really believe that he can be helped. He sleeps in the dismal living room of his trailer like home and worries about getting to the only bathroom because he has to cross the path of his father to get there. He wakes up each morning, grabs some cold cereal and leaves his house barefooted to get himself through the adventures or frustrations of his day. His mom cares but is more consumed by keeping Ruth alive than to worry that much about Danny.

It seems as though people care for him. Alfred’s parents try to help him in an odd sort of way. The cigar selling shop owner tries to help him but I always got the impression that Danny tries not to need them. It is ultimately Buddy…his canoe building new friend who helps Danny achieve peace.

Again…this is one of those sadly sweet stories…I read it straight through.

Usually stories like this leave me feeling sad and blue for a bit but I left Danny feeling hopeful. His mom has a new job in a health food store and although Danny is not a huge fan of wholesome whole wheat bread and misses his dad’s mushy white bread…I get the feeling that Danny will be all right.

He was such a survivor and such a sweet character that I need to believe he will...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Bunny Day!!!

I hate jelly beans...except for Jelly Belly ones.  When I was little and when people put jelly beans in our Easter Baskets...I would sometimes eat only the orange ones and always give the licorice ones to my mom who loved them.  But then God invented Jelly Bellies...a blissful sort of jelly bean heavenly treat.  The flavors are amazing.  Today I bought sour ones and ice cream flavors and regular ones and mixed them all together.  I don't like choosing a color or flavor of jelly bellies.  I just like to be surprised.  And even every once in a while when you get the rare Jelly Belly that you aren't that crazy still tastes good. we come to you...are you crazy for jelly beans?  What is your favorite Easter treat?