Sunday, June 29, 2008

Simple Woman June 30

Peggy at The Simple Woman has a great idea, The Simple Woman's Daybook. It is a chance to stop and think about the beauty of life, family, and all that is around you. Each Monday you can visit Peggy to see her thoughts and those of the other participants, or even better, participate yourself! I find this a great way to center my mind and to plan the week ahead.

June 30, 2008
Outside my window there is no wind and it is a little hazy. Yesterday we actually had a fog warning, which I've never heard of before!
I am wearing my pjs, because it is still early. But I will be changing into a cute outfit for my niece's 10th birthday party this afternoon!
One of my favorite things is wrapping packages very cutely, and having them admired before they are opened.
I am creating Christmas cards! Last year I didn't get them done in time and had to use store bought. So I'm making a couple each week this year.
In the kitchen I have a bunch of different meats to unpackage and freeze.
I am reading Fearless 14 by Janet Evanovich. Silly, romantic, adventurous, mystery. Great summer reading!
I am hoping the humidity breaks today so I can open the windows and go outside.
I am thankful that I have central air conditioning! With all of my current breathing problems, I don't know what I'd do without it this summer.
Sweet Picture Thought
This picture of my nephews is about 12 years old. What are they looking for?

Sunday Salon: Book Series

I was just updating my Shelfari for the blog and decided to make it feature books I currently have out from the library. Interestingly, 3 of them are from series. That made me stop and think about how I choose what I am going to read. I have my go-to authors, those who publish regularly and don't usually disappoint, and I have my go-to series, again, usually something published regularly. I like when I find a series that has already been around for a few years, because I can read several books in a row before I start itching for the latest!
But why do I like series books so much? I think it's because of knowing the history on the characters before the author describes them, liking the writer's style or rhythm, and familiarity. Just like watching a TV series, or listening to a favorite song many times, we all like things where we have some knowledge or expectations going in to the situation. Let's face it, Law & Order wouldn't have been on TV for more than 15 years if people weren't constantly watching it and enjoying the familiarity!
I am currently reading Fearless 14 by Janet Evanovich, the latest in the Stephanie Plum comedy/mysteries. I don't really consider these mysteries, more like action comedies. For those not familiar with Stephanie, she is a bounty hunter in Trenton, NJ, who has many wacky family members and seems to always get the crazy felons to try and bring in. I find myself actually laughing out loud at some of the things her Grandma Mazur does, such as attending every possible wake she can, opening the caskets if they are closed, and giving a running commentary on the food served! Stephanie has 2 sexy guys in her life, Joe the cop, and Ranger the mysterious bounty hunter/security man. They are very similar in that they both think Stephanie is nuts, but try to keep her out of trouble. These stories are extremely way-out, and most avid readers would finish a book in a day. They usually come out in hardcover at the beginning of each summer, because they are fun, silly, beach reading to most people.
My next book to start will be Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews, which is book 4 in the Meg Lanslow Mysteries. These are also funny, but have more of a true mystery to them. One of the neat things is that Meg is a blacksmith, and there are often descriptions of her work methods. Also, she often travels to other areas of the country, so there is a little information about places a reader may not have traveled.
And my final mystery series will be something totally new to me. I am going to start the Elizabeth I mysteries by Karen Harper. The first book is The Poyson Garden. I have read many of Ms. Harper's modern day thrillers, and a good friend with whom I usually enjoy the same books has recommended the series. I also really love the Tudor/Elizabethan era, so I am expecting to really enjoy this series!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: bracelets

I am participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday. On her blog, Lisa the Apron Queen gives full instructions for participating. Vintage is anything more than 30 years old. Antiques are also welcome, so it's pretty much all old stuff! It's fun to visit the lists of the week's participants and see what kind of neat vintage things they collect or even sell.This week, I have 3 cool bracelets that were purchased by my parents, not found in the basement!
The first has been dated to the 1890s and is a silver dragon wrap-around bangle.I received this as a gift in high school. The workmanship of the details is exquisite! The little points on the dragon's head are very pronounced, the bracelet has even cut people accidentally!Next, they got me this neat enameled elephant bracelet. Most of the enamel has been worn off, and it is hollow, which makes it much lighter to wear. I've gotten differing opinions on its age, but I'm going with the 1920s when enamel was fashionable, as were the elephant motifs due to the time being the height of the British Empire in India. The third I bought myself at a junk shop about 15 years ago. I think it's a reproduction based on the weight and how uniform the coils are. It depicts Chinese dragon or lion heads.I've tried to wear all 3 bracelets on 1 arm, but the Victorian dragon is very heavy and covers up the other 2, so I wear it by itself and the elephant and lion together. They are great conversation pieces!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Giveaways, Contests, & Swaps: Oh, My!!

I created this blog as a way to connect with friends who have scattered across the country, not knowing much about the blog world. I thought it was a lot of people discussing indie music and art, which didn't really interest me. But, it's all where you start, and my friend Terrie, who encouraged me to do this, was my jump-off point. Her blogging friends are into home keeping, crafts, gardening, and other things that interest me, and visiting their sites led me to the Cottage Charm Giveaway, hosted by Kim. It was the first blog giveaway I entered. I thought by entering it would be a good way to get traffic of people with similar interests through my blog. And then I won the prize for hostesses, a gorgeous teapot, home keeping book, and chocolate treats! Too bad they're not real!
My blog is not connected to any kind of commerce, but I do like to get new visitors, so I entered a few other swaps, contests and giveaways. I've only been blogging strongly for 2 months and I've won or swapped 8 things. This seems like a lot to me. I noticed that the random number generator has chosen me 4 times. Do you think it's a scam? It picks names new to the blogging
world to encourage us to enter more contests? IDK!
As a semi-house-bound person, the mail is a daily treat, but very little arrives in this day of online billing. Magazines, Netflix, and my monthly medications have been the big highlights, but all that has changed now that I am receiving thoughtful items in the mail, wrapped so beautifully. I thought I'd share some of my "wins". Many of these people have great sites for buying handmade items or crafting materials. As always, I encourage you to buy handmade!

Wanda at the Rat's Pajamas was part of the Cottage Charm Giveaway. Although I didn't win her beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch tablecloth, she sent everyone who entered her contest this great little pack of materials for creating tags. Notice she even personalized it with sparkly letters in our initials! How thoughtful!
Every week, I participate in Vintage Thingies Thursday with Lisa, the Apron Queen. She sponsored a "Where in the World" contest when she went to Italy. I was the second place winner, and she sent me this beautiful vintage apron with a seashore print. I am getting more and more into the vintage items for daily use.
Then, I saw that the web ring Aged Vintage Papier was holding their first weekly contest. They are a group of artists with a love of, you guessed it, vintage paper, chalk, ink, ephemera and embellishments. I won this contest, too and received these great embellishments, sponsored by Sherry at Esprit d'Art.
Through the Cottage Charm Giveaway, I met Jalal, hiding in her Little Shack Out Back. She had a giveaway for her birthday, and I won these amazing sparkly pink chandelier earrings! I love things that sparkle! Notice the very cute wrapping, as well!
And finally, my first swap! I was paired up with Jennifer at Me & My Sister. It was her first swap, too. It was organized by Kelly at According to Kelly, and we were to swap 3 items or more of things that were our favorites. This is what I sent. 2 light summer time books, because I love to read, and some Dove milk chocolate to go with them. I love things that sparkle, and I try to be a little crafty, so I made wine charms and a set of tiny-bead stretch bracelets/pony tail holders. My favorite Bath & Body Works scents, and a sparkly macrame anklet for her daughter.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Side Effects Happen!

I have not posted in nearly a week, missing 3 of my favorite things, Vintage Thingies Thursday, The Sunday Salon, and the Simple Woman's Daybook. There was a medical emergency that kept me away from my computer for almost a week. Note to self: get a laptop!!! I've spent a few days checking in on all my favorite blogs, but haven't left a lot of comments, because I was trying to get through quickly. I hope to be back on schedule this week.
As I have mentioned in previous postings, I consider myself a professional cancer patient after 5 years of assorted treatments to cure Hodgkin's Disease, a blood-borne cancer similar to leukemia. My second stem cell transplant, generously given from an anonymous donor, has been successful and I have been in remission for 18 months, which is a record for me. Here I am holding the bag of stem cells after they have been hooked up through the IV. On TV and in the movies they make the bone marrow transplant process seem quick for both the donor and host/patient, as well as painful. It is neither. It is a drawn out process of preparing for a simple, pain-free procedure for the donor, and a little pain for the recipient/patient. Then, on TV, the patient is up and back to their regular life in 2 or 3 months. NOT TRUE.
It has been almost 2 full years since my transplant, which not only destroys the cancer, but destroys the entire body's immune system. And I've had 2 transplants! Any vaccinations I've received as a child are now gone and have to be re-administered when my body is strong enough to accept them. This can take several years, which means I haven't worked in 2 years so far.
Each day I take 29 pills from 15 different prescriptions. Some of these are antibiotics/antifungals. 1 is to help my body adjust to the new bone marrow. 4 are different vitamins. There is folic acid and Prilosec to help with taking all of the pills! Then there are the steroids. We all have heard how awful they are, but the few times I had taken them in the past on a short 5-10 day cycle for back problems, they were a miracle drug and there were no problems.
But this has been 14 months on very high doses. I need the prednisone to basically stay alive, since the Graft vs. Host has attacked my lungs. But it is also eating away at other parts of my body. My muscle control has gotten to where my entire arm shakes if I lift a gallon of milk, and my hands will just cramp up while I am sitting and watching TV. My vision keeps changing, and sharp light is very painful. I only sleep 3-4 hours at a time, and I don't sweat, so I am always feeling hot. These are all side effects of the prednisone.
Another biggie happened this week. I am now officially a prednisone diabetic, after my blood tests came back with sky-high sugar levels. This is a "typical" side effect and we had been monitoring the glucose for several months. I do all of the things regular diabetics do, such as watch what I eat, test my blood regularly, and take insulin. However, similar to gestational diabetes, it will eventually go away once I am off the steroids. So, in addition to the pills, I now get stuck 11 times a day! I have to say that these are
very tiny needles and I don't feel a thing except for the finger prick. I am very proud that I do it all myself, I was a little scared of the needle business, but it is easy-peasy! I was hospitalized for a few days to get stable and for the medical staff to monitor and educate me on how to take care of myself with diabetes.
When I returned to my own house, my fabulous parents were here to keep track of me for a few days while I got used to the new routines. My mom has been a huge help in doing some household projects I couldn't handle on my own. Robin, one of my good friends, attacked my house like a crazy woman while I was gone! It's never been this clean since I bought it a year ago; she even vacuumed the stairs, and moved the appliances to clean! I truly have a great team of caregivers to support me!
Again, this post is not to garner sympathy, but to educate. Everyone has trials: unemployment, natural disasters, foreclosure, deaths of family members, etc. Everyone will have to deal with something horrible in their lifetime. It's how you handle it that matters. Play the cards you're dealt and play them well!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Simple Woman June 16

Peggy at The Simple Woman has a great idea, The Simple Woman's Daybook. It is a chance to stop and think about the beauty of life, family, and all that is around you. Each Monday you can visit Peggy to see her thoughts and those of the other participants, or even better, participate yourself! I find this a great way to center my mind and to plan the week ahead.
June 16, 2008

Outside my window I was just watching some of the local kids walking to the bus stop. Today is their last day of school!
I am wearing my standard staying home ensemble of capri yoga-style pants and a t-shirt. My hair is up in a bandana so I am not so afro-licious today!
One of my favorite things is getting packages! I am expecting several this week!
I am creating 10 scrapbook pages for a recipe book swap. Each month we do 10 pages with the same recipe and then swap them out. At the end we will have 12 differerent recipes. This month it is appetizers.
In the kitchen I am doing nothing today, but here is the recipe I am using in my scrapbooking swap.
REUBEN DIP
Ingredients: 1 16 oz. can of sauerkraut 2/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup mustard
8 oz. Swiss cheese, chopped or shredded 8 oz. corned beef, chopped or shredded
Preparation
Drain the sauerkraut thoroughly. Mix everything together in a medium mixing bowl. As with all recipes, you can try using different amounts or versions of the ingredients to your particular taste.Serve, along with crackers, in a quiche pan or 8 x 8 glass pan, after baking for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

I am reading All Creatures Great & Small by James Herriott. I don't know why I haven't read it before, since I read so much and it is such a well-known book. I am really enjoying these funny characters and thoughtful stories of a farm veterinarian in Depression-Era Yorkshire, England.
I am hoping that the tooth I broke last night will not be a big problem. A huge chunk of a back molar came off while I was eating a SALAD! There was no blood and neither heat nor cold seem to effect it, so hopefully all will go well.
I am thankful for having excellent health & dental insurance, so no matter what is wrong with this tooth it will be taken care of.
Picture Thought: Happy Fathers' Day!
When I was growing up, my dad made big breakfasts for us on both Saturday & Sunday. He was a cook in the army during the Korean War.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Salon: Introduction

I am participating in my first Sunday Salon. I have been posting my reading thoughts on Sundays for a few weeks anyway, and the Salon was recommended to me by the Reading Fool as a way for me to connect with more online readers. I'd like to introduce myself as a reader to the group. Like most in this group, I have always been a huge reader. In the first grade my mother had to visit the school so I could get permission to 1) check more than 1 book a week out of the library, and 2) it could be a chapter book. I don't blame the school, it was a very small library and they wanted the older students to get the limited number of chapter books. Growing up, I always had 2 or 3 books going, at least 1 by my bed and 1 I kept in school. I can't do that very much these days.
I have been an English and Social Studies teacher for 18 years. I love inspiring students to read and find favorite authors and genres for themselves. I currently teach sixth grade, and if you don't get them hooked by then it might never happen.
My current reading tastes run to books that many may consider light. I've been reading some current bestsellers, mystery series, biographies, and adventure/romances. I have never been a fan of self-help or much non-fiction, unless it is historical.
On to my current books!
I finished Outlander by Diana Galbadon this past week, as well as The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Outlander is an "oldie" that a friend had been pushing me to try. Imagine my surprise when, on about page 60, I realized I read it when it was first published and stopped about 1/4 of the way through because I didn't like it! This time I read the whole thing and found it very enjoyable. It's one of those historical, romantic adventures that so many women read and enjoy. Claire, a woman from 1946 England is transported through some singing rocks in the Scottish Highlands back to the 1730s, a few years before the rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. She is able to survive in this time because she has knowledge of medicinal herbs and is taken in by a powerful clan. There is a lot of history and description of the Highlands, and of course Claire is always trying to get back to that stone and try to return to her own time, but events and deepening friendships keep getting in her way. This book is the first in a series. I will eventually read more, but I'm not jumping for them at this time. I have so many others on my Shelfari to read!
I heard about The Book of Lost Things from Dewey at The Hidden Side of the Leaf and decided to try it. It isn't my usually taste, so I probably wouldn't have picked it up at the library or book store. That's not to say it isn't a good book, of course! It reminded me of many fantasy/adventure books for the middle grades, but when I looked it up on several library sites it is cataloged as an adult book. I think young adults, especially boys would like this one a lot! It is about an English boy during the early stages of WWII. His father remarries, has a new baby, and moves David out of London to a big old house with a room full of old books. Great for David because he loves to read, but soon the books are whispering to him and he sees a strange crooked man in his room one day. David is unhappy with this new life, and through a strange series of events gets pulled into another world/realm where he has many dangerous adventures, some of which are pretty graphic, if this was a juvenile book, but would be immensely enjoyable to an early teen audience. He meets The Woodsman, The King, The Crooked Man, and an army of half-men, half-wolves who are attempting to take over the kingdom. I have twin 13-year-old nephews who will be all over this book!
My upcoming books for this week are All Creatures Great & Small by James Herriott, which most of the world except me has already read, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is a Printz Award Winner, and I notice Dewey is reading it as well. Both of these I am reading for different real-life book clubs.
It's going to be a busy Father's Day, between the traditional barbecue and my nephew being in the Little League final game, but I'll get some reading in today I'm sure, as well as lots during the week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursdays: Archaeology

I am participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday. On her blog, Lisa the Apron Queen gives full instructions for participating. Vintage is anything more than 30 years old. Antiques are also welcome, so it's pretty much all old stuff! It's fun to visit the lists of the week's participants and see what kind of neat vintage things they collect or even sell.
This week I am NOT featuring items found in my dad's basement! Not because I've run out, but
because I have something new to share. Don't worry, he'll be back!
If you have read some of my other posts, you know that I am a 6th grade teacher in MA. For the past 40 years, 6th grade students in our town have studied the environment during a week of Outdoor Education. No books, little writing, just exploration with certified environmental teachers. The living environment is a camp-like setting and we have camp activities in the evenings. During the day, students have many different activities, one of which is the Archaeological Dig. They LOVE it! Even in the rain, as you can see!
The Dig is overseen by the University of Rhode Island. Our
students learn proper techniques for clearing the site, using brushes and small scoops. The site itself is a 150 year-used trash dump for a farm. Everything was thrown in here that was trash, as well as some compost materials. The farm now belongs to URI and is a great teaching tool with animals, barns, old farm machinery and its own family grave yard.
Even though these things are technically someone's trash, to our 6th graders they are antique treasures. I thought I'd share some pictues of things that have been dug up over the years! All of these things are on display at the Environmental Education Center. There is much more, but the glass cabinets where I couldn't get the key reflected very badly in photos.

Toys, possibly from the 1930s.
Pieces of tools
Glass bottles and dishes
Various farm implements, crockery
Farmhouse built circa 1720 is housing for the teachers. Notice the center chimney and the sideways 2nd floor window. Interior was completely restored this winter. Gorgeous hardwoods, period paint, most original moldings! It was frightening before!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Simple Woman June 9

Peggy at The Simple Woman has a great idea, The Simple Woman's Daybook. It is a chance to stop and think about the beauty of life, family, and all that is around you. Each Monday you can visit Peggy to see her thoughts and those of the other participants, or even better, participate yourself! I find this a great way to center my mind and to plan the week ahead.
June 9, 2008

Outside my window it is extremely sunny and unusually hot, in the 80s for the next few days. In the afternoon it will be muggy with a possible haze of pollen. I'll be staying inside with my allergies, thank you!
I am wearing khaki capris and a school t-shirt, with a bandana to hold my hair back. Barefoot, since I'm inside all day.
One of my favorite things is when new magazines come in the mail! I get very excited and get them all set up for a big read-a-thon, then I save the reading until I'm sure I can get through one or two.
I am creating artwork for my 2 bathrooms. I think I am going to use photographs of beautiful soaps in soap dishes in the master bath, and vintage medicine and personal care advertisements in the 1/2 bath.
I am reading Outlander by Diana Galbadon. It's a very exciting story about the Scottish Highlands in the mid-1700s, with the Scots trying to save their land and their way of life from the English.
In the kitchen I am reorganizing my pantry and some of the other cupboards.
Around the house everything is a total mess! Good thing it was all clean last week. I returned from my fun camping trip with filthy shoes, dumped my bags and slept almost all weekend! Now I have to do the laundry, unpack, and clean up the mess I made. Good thing I live alone!
I am hoping to actually finish one of my many projects this week! Curtains to put up, basement to organize, bathroom artwork to finish, etc.

I am thankful for the fact that I don't have to answer to anyone, so I can be a Simple Woman and get the projects done properly in my own time! The mess doesn't matter.

Picture Thought
Here I am at Environmental Education Camp last week. Do you know who my little friend is and why he is important? [Please ignore my big Prednisone head!]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday Nightstand: Slowing Down

I had such a busy week, I've only read 1/2 a book! That's very slow for me. I feel like a failure not having finished a book to tell everyone about this Sunday, so I'll tell you why I didn't get at least 1 book finished.
I am pretty much housebound, due to a medical condition which you can read about in other posts. BUT this week I was able to go away for 3 days with a group of friends. We had a lot of fun, talking, eating, being silly, but not a lot of time for reading. But that's a good thing, right?! I also spent 7 hours at the doctor's office on Friday and didn't bring my book, just magazines. I thought I would be there for about an hour; whoops!
Anyhow, I am currently reading Outlander by Diana Galbadon. It was written in the early 90s and is a little bit of a time-travel book. However, once the main character goes back in time, she does not return (so far) so it's more like historical fiction, which I LOVE. The book was recommended by my friend Diane, who has read the entire series. I kept saying I wasn't into time travel, but once I was about 25 pages in, I realized that I had already read this book back when it was first published! I didn't finish it, so this time I'm giving it my all and really enjoying it.
The story takes place in Scotland in the mid-18th century and focuses on the clans trying to fight off the British while fighting each other for land and cattle. Claire, the main character gets dropped into the middle of a skirmish after she touches a "singing stone" and is fortunately picked up by a clan with more morals than most. Isn't that always the way in these books? She is suspected by the Scots of being an English spy and the English of being a French spy. Why is a woman of this era alone in the wilderness in strange clothing? The MacKenzies take her in as a "guest" until they can "help" her return to her home. She is constantly followed and watched, but her 20th century nursing skills and love of medicinal plants make her valuable at the castle.
I'm a little more than 1/2 way through and Claire has to deal with conflict within the clan as well as from a very sadistic "Lobsterback" captain who has fixated on her. I am wondering if she will get back to her husband and her own era of 1946, and if someone will kill the awful captain. I sure hope so!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursdays: Kitchen Tools

I am participating in Vintage Thingies Thursday. On her blog, Lisa the Apron Queen gives full instructions for participating. Vintage is anything more than 30 years old. Antiques are also welcome, so it's pretty much all old stuff! It's fun to visit the lists of the week's participants and see what kind of neat vintage things they collect or even sell! Maybe you'll find something to add to your own vintage collection, or you'll realize that something you thought was junk is collectible to others.
Here's a nice way to display a collection of kitchen tools. The shelf pulls everything together, but gives the eye different places to look, the drawers could be pulled open slightly to display vintage tea towels, and there is room on the wall to hang more implements if they are added to the collection. Here we have a grinder, strainer spoon, cornbread pan, drink mixer, a couple of mashers, and a mixer. The pie plate is from Table Talk, which was once owned by my mother's family. Many of these items are from the place that is quickly becoming infamous, my dad's basement! A couple were purchased.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Simple Woman June 2

Am I a simple woman? I don't know, but I try not to be too complicated! Peggy at The Simple Woman has a great idea, The Simple Woman's Daybook. It is a chance to stop and think about the beauty of life, family, and all that is around you. Each Monday you can visit Peggy to see her thoughts and those of the other participants, or even better, participate yourself! I find this a great way to center my mind on the good things in life and to plan the week ahead.
June 2, 2008

Outside my window it is a sunny spring day in New England. A good omen for my week of camping with 150 sixth grade students!
In the kitchen I am packing fun snacks for the other teachers and myself! Pringles, Oreos, and Twizzlers are always popular!
I am wearing jeans, sneakers, soft, comfy socks, and a t-shirt.
I am creating painted souvenir water bottles for the camp counselors at this week's school camping trip. The students made their's last week.

I probably won't be reading much this week. Maybe just magazines: Cottage Living or Martha.
I am hoping to have a fun week at the W. Alton Jones Environmental Learning Center.
Around the house everything is organized because I will be away most of the week. My parents always had us clean the house and make sure everything was taken care of before a vacation.
One of my favorite things is what I will be doing for the rest of the week! I will be on the 6th grade yearly camping trip!

Picture Thought

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Nightstand: a Nice Surprise!

Well, last Sunday the nightstand was FULL of books TBR and it still is! I got a few finished, but of course the library called and I had to go pick up some others that were on hold. Luckily I am reading oldies these days and can keep them longer. I am also lucky that my local librarians love me and let me renew all the time, except for the super high-demand books.
Do you ever get names confused? I know a lot of people do, but I don't. I remember faces and names and usually have some way of connecting the person or even book character, in my memory. One author I always read is
Elinor Lipman, whenever she has a new book out. So I was excited to see the Lippman name on a book recently purchased by my library and I put it on hold.
When I picked the book up, the cover did not have the stylized design I had come to expect of Ms. Lipman's novels. I looked at the back and saw a blonde woman, and I was pretty sure
Ms. Lipman was a little older than this woman. I read the inside cover, and I was now pretty sure I had put the wrong book/author on hold, but it looked good, so I took it! This book was by Laura Lippman! I remembered Elinor's first name by the time I got home. Different first names, different spellings on the last name, that's not like me at all.
As soon as I finished The Beekeeper's Apprentice for my book group, I started Another Thing to Fall. It is the latest in Laura's Tess Monaghan crime series, set in her native Baltimore. I LOVED it. It was funny, had relevant cultural references, and many interesting, diverse characters. There was a lot of information about Baltimore and its history, as well as about the television industry, in which Ms. Lippman's husband works.
So, what a nice surprise to find another new-to-me author! I don't know how I missed this one!
Back to my old friend, Elinor Lipman...I have read the majority of her books and find them funny, touching, and thought-provoking without being preachy. She tells a great story and includes some social or family issues, always keeping me entertained, which is my main purpose for reading. One of my favorites of her's is The Inn at Lake Devine.
"It's 1962 and Natalie Marx is shocked when her mother receives this reply to her inquiry about summer accommodation in Vermont: "Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles." It was not complicated, as her mother pointed out. "They had a hotel; they didn't want Jews. We were Jews." For twelve-year-old Natalie, the words are an infuriating, irresistible challenge."
I'm off to start Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, recommended by my friend Diane. It's a big one, and I have a busy week ahead, but hopefully I'll finish and be able to give some opinions next Sunday!