Archive for March, 2010

Books are always good stuff… therefore: This is a photo of the three books I sent for with my birthday Amazon gift cert.

Fablehaven by Brendon Mull (book 5) the final edition to a fun series.

The Bone Magician by F.E.Higgins I got this thanks to Becky who listed it as one of her possible reads for Once Upon a Time.

Secret of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This is book 2 of a new trilogy from Dragonlance . When Weis and Hickman get together to write Dragonlance books, there are no better writers!

The books arrived today in the mail.. this is “good stuff”.

I am admitting to you, that I am a pessimist and between that and depression, I don’t see all the “good stuff” others see.  But when it’s a big one.. well that’s hard to NOT see.  …. and a few days ago I had “a big one”.

As some of you know I am of an age where I have to doctor more then some.  I have herniated disks in my low back, a pinched nerve in my right shoulder that even the chiropractor doesn’t seem to be able to get to, and sciatica problems on my left side… needless to say I live with pain all the time.. some days are worse than others.

So (as the story goes) I also have a bone in my right foot that began to hurt badly and I went to a foot doctor.  He said it’s either deformed or a spur (top of my foot not the bottom).  He puts a needle into it filled with Cortizon and gave me a prescription to get Naproxen which is an anti-inflammatory med.  I got it and came home.  I am to take 2 pills a day..it was late in the day so I took the first pill.  By the time I went to bed nothing seemed to have changed.  Then it happened……..

I fell asleep. …and stayed asleep (something I never do).  When I woke I immediately noticed two things:  one was that I could tell I never moved all night long (also something that NEVER happens)  ..and the second was I thought I didn’t feel pain.  I remained motionless.  I didn’t want to move.  I couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t feel pain.

BooBoo finally made me move and I sat up.  I turned my neck back and forth, it creaked and cracked loudly as always…. but I didn’t feel pain.

I stood up, and bent down to get socks…. and I didn’t feel pain in my back!

I sat on the bed in the dark and cried.  It was a good hard cry.

The entire day I was pain free.  Something I haven’t felt in 15 yrs!  It was a glorious day!  I was afraid for it to end.  …but end it did.  The following 3 days the pain has returned but still not near as much as before.  I know when I go off of the anti-inflammatory meds it will come back…

It has been a double edged sword.   On one hand ..it was glorious!.. on the other it was only for a day and odds are it will never happen again… but I ‘ll take it!

That was a big “good stuff”..

A totally unexpected, good stuff…

My back is hurting again but the full pains are not back yet…and I still have a vivid memory of a whole day pain free….! 

I am already back to waking many times during the night and the sciatica paining whenever I lay down….I wonder why it helped it so much with one pill but then on 2 a day it’s coming back slowly.?  Ah well..

So that’s it Carl… that was a biggie for me!! I couldn’t not see that it was “good stuff” even if I were blind!

From bigger then big.. to smaller then small………..

A tiny two finger stroke on the chest now and then…that has to be good stuff too!

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A Moment in Time

Sometimes… something small and minor, …..something you have seen before, suddenly transports you to another place… another world.. another time.

I was walking around the pond as I have more times then I care to say.  I looked down at the base of one of the Bald Cypress trees and saw this:


It’s the same at the base of all of them.. roots that come out of the ground and have been cut back so that no one will trip..

But for whatever reason, this time I looked down and my mind quickly took me to a forest.  I’m sure it was one I remember from all of the books I’ve read, for many of them have forests in the stories.  I don’t know which forest it took me to but for a brief moment I wasn’t here…. I was there…

….and oh how I wanted to stay. 

Now all I need is to see a dragon flying around in the sky and that will be all she wrote!

Meanwhile the BooBoo Kitty just thinks I’ve gone over the edge..


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The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: DAW Hardcover; 1 edition (June 2, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0756405556

From Publishers Weekly

Thoughtful and leisurely, this fresh urban fantasy from Canadian author Huff (Valor’s Trial) features an ensemble cast of nuanced characters in Calgary, Alberta. Headstrong young museum research assistant Allie Gale takes over her missing grandmother’s titular junk-shop, which is supposedly crucial to the local community. When Allie arrives to find a leprechaun, a monkey’s paw and a magic mirror, she realizes her grandmother didn’t mean the human community. After spotting low-flying dragons and other UnderRealm creatures in the neighborhood, Allie calls on the help of her powerful family of modern, benevolent Toronto witches, who attempt to visit via a spacetime-spanning Wood until something shadowy begins pushing them out in inconvenient locales like Haiti. Fantasy buffs will find plenty of humor, thrills and original mythology to chew on, along with refreshingly three-dimensional women in an original, fully realized world.

Gads … If I were an author I wouldn’t give me your book to read right now.  I have no idea what my problem is but lately the books I pick up take me forever to read and now, twice in a row, there were times in a book when I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on!

This story starts our throwing me for a loop.  (please remember I am horrible ate remembering names of people/characters)  So right away they toss out so many names (main characters and sub characters *all the aunties*) that I am lost, lost, lost.

So when the story really begins, which is when Allie takes over her grandmothers junk-shop, and introduces more characters… well.. I really felt like I didn’t know who or even “what” the characters were or where this was going.

Eventually I caught on to the story (which was very good and I felt very original) and my reading picked up a little, but not a whole lot but that’s just because my reading has come to a crawl.

So.. to me the bad side was too many characters to remember (and me a character driven person!..so it has to deal with poor memory on my part) and the fact that, either I missed something important, or they never really said what these people were.  I don’t want to extend on that in case I missed it in the beginning.

The last third of the book I enjoyed quite a bit so those of you with better memory than mine (and that would be most of you!) would more then likely enjoy the whole book rather then half of the book.  I am sure If I reread the book now, I would enjoy much more of it… but that’s for another time.

It would not be like me not to include an small excerpt from the book and for those of you who know me you will immediately see why I chose this one. 

“As Mr Spock said, in what as undeniably the best of the movies…”

“Kay has a Ricardo Mantalban fixation,” on the the older aunties interrupted.

“Lovely man,” Auntie Kay agreed.  “Amazing pecs.  May his should be at peace.” She frowned. “Where was I?”

Graham want to kiss the corner of Allie’s mouth where it curled up, fighting a smile.

“The needs of the  many…” Auntie Muriel sighed, waving a knitting needle.

“..outweigh the needs of the one. Of course.  Had you killed the boy, we wouldn’t have needed to come to Calgary to save the world.”

This completes “The Journey”…

Now on to Quest the First…

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Bread Anyone?

The one Moorhen is beginning to think they will get bread several times a day!..  I took some photo’s of my son feeding them.. last time he was here the babies were so small they didn’t leave “gilligans island”.. an now they travel around the pond edges all day long..

Here’s mama racing up for the bread..

..woo hoo I got the picture just when she grabbed the bread~

…and here she is about to turn and run with the bread back to the babies.

“well, maybe just one more piece of bread!”  (note the other adult in the water and one of the babies )

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I looked out yesterday and saw the Egret was back!!! (he’s not been around much all winter) He was calmly walking and looking and looking and walking when all of a sudden he flaps his wings and looks like he fell into the water!…………

…but.. he came up with a Mullet! heh..

Then I went out to feed the Moorhens.. and I’ve found if I stay low to the ground and not tear off bread for them to grab and run they will pull a tiny piece at a time off of the slice and while they do that one of them lets me get away with stroking his chest!!!!! (she feels like satin!)  I did it again today so I guess she doesn’t mind. (he? she? dunno which is which)



Then last night I had another treat… I saw that HBO was going to show Einstein and Eddington! I knew this was a small series in England and one of the stars was Andy Serkis, who is such a wonderful character actor .. I  really like him! (it helps he was so sweet to talk to when I met him at a convention too).. anyway.. I was thrilled to see this!

…but not thrilled to find out that it is only out in PAL dvd format, so I cant add it to my Andy Serkis movies   :o(

..he was a great Einstein!!


And then there was today!… today my sister in law came over with my son Tom for us to go to lunch and my daughter in law happen to be in town on business and came with us too!..

..it was my b’day ..Kath and my other son George gave me something they know I love: an Amazon gift card LOL…oh yeah.. it’s already spent! hahahaha. (thank you Kath and George!)


(and I DO NOT DO b’days!)..but we went to Olive Garden for soup and salad..(lunch was a present from my sister in law Pat).. it was all very nice, very nice in deed. (thank  you again Pat!)

Oh..yeah.. there is one more thing… (saved the “best for last”).. my son gave me…. CADET MCCOY!!!!  lol.. I don’t generally collect the dolls.. but hey.. it’s Karl Urban! What’s not to like? lol lol  He said when he saw it  he laughed and got it for his 66 yr old mother.. don’t all old farts want a Karl Urban doll?.. the kid knows me well LOL LOL.

So it was two days with neat things happening.. the egret gets the fish, I get to pet the Moorhen, then get to go to lunch with my sister in law (Pat), daughter in law (Kath) and my son (Tom)… whew.. now I will sleep for 2 days from all the activity!

So how was your day?

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One might well wonder how someone who has over 100 books in her TBR pile could possible get excited over more books (and movies) that haven’t even come out yet! 

If someone knows the answer please let me know!

Chris, from Stuff as Dreams are Made On,wrote about his excitement waiting for new books to be released and I thought I would copy his idea and give you my list ….

There are a few books coming out that I look forward too and I don’t know how to break the vicious cycle long enough to get the tbr pile under control !  And we won’t mention the “m” word (money)

So.. with that said here are a few things I am looking forward to:

The first is a movie.. April 22nd  Avatar comes out on DVD!!! 

   I’ve seen it twice but I can’t wait to have it here to watch it more!!!  How I can sit for 3 hours and have it NOT seem like 3 hrs is beyond me.  I am very glad that I now have a wide screen tv to watch it on!!

Next up is a YA series that I  have gotten hooked on…from the very beginning each book of the series, The Secret Life of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel,  just gets better and better!  I really loved the last book “the Sorceress” so I cannot wait for the Necromancer to come out!! (release date: May 25)

   I just want to thank Michael Scott for such enjoyable writing!! He did his homework and it shows!

Then there is  Laurie R King.  What can I say? I have enjoyed each and every book she’s written about Mary Russell and her famous husband Sherlock Holmes!.. I am more then delighted that a new book will be released soon!   The God of the Hive .(release date: April 27)

I saw this next book at Becky’s blog.. the book cover intrigued me and I checked it am Amazon and the Bone Magician went directly to the wish list!   (some of the books I am anticipating are already released)

The House on Darrow Street by Galen Beckett.  There’s not even a cover to show  yet! This will be the followup book to the Magicians & Mrs Quent.  (release date: Sept 28)

… and here comes Brandon Mull once again with yet another book in the Fablehaven series! Keys to the Demon Prison, book 5!  This one was just released! 

I have not read any of Robin Hobbs books yet  .. yet.

This one , Dragon Keeper, looks like something I would like, I’m just not sure if it’s something I can read as a first book of hers or if I need to read others first for background and such?.  But it has peeked my interest! (just released)

Ah.. well now… Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman combined with “Dragonlance”.. I’m not sure they can ever go wrong!  Now comes book 2 of their new trilogy, Secret of the Dragon!  (just released)

As I made my rounds checking blogs not long ago I discovered that Carlos Ruiz Zafon (author of Shadow of the Wind and The Angels Game) has a new book, the Prince of Mist,  due to be released May 4th.  His other two books were excellent reads so I have high hope this one will be too!

There are a few other authors I have enjoyed  and wish that they would come out with their next books but so far, I think this is it! 

So are you anticipating any new books??

( Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.)

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The Hibiscus are blooming outside of my sliding doors..

The color must appeal to me because I just finished a new afghan (note the colors)

From real Hibiscus to crochet “roses”..  the latest afghan…


Changing subjects……

And then there were Four…

George and Gracie have the babies all over the pond now… but the count has gone down another number.. now there are only 4.

I don’t know how it happens.. it sure isn’t lack of “parental care”!…

They finally have learned “follow the leader”…

When I come near them now I don’t even have time to crouch down before both parents come running towards me for their bread!  It’s too funny… they pretty much ignore me until they have babies and then it turns into “hell has no fury like Moorhens wanting to feed the babies!” lol

But no matter what happens outside or inside, Boo always lets me know one little fact:  “It’s good to be king!”

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A Northern Light

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books; edition (April 1, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0152167056

Amazon.com Review

It’s 1906 and 16-year-old Mattie Gokey is at a crossroads in her life. She’s escaped the overwhelming responsibilities of helping to run her father’s brokendown farm in exchange for a paid summer job as a serving girl at a fancy hotel in the Adirondacks. She’s saving as much of her salary as she can, but she’s having trouble deciding how she’s going to use the money at the end of the summer. Mattie’s gift is for writing and she’s been accepted to Barnard College in New York City, but she’s held back by her sense of responsibility to her family–and by her budding romance with handsome-but-dull Royal Loomis. Royal awakens feelings in Mattie that she doesn’t want to ignore, but she can’t deny her passion for words and her desire to write.

At the hotel, Mattie gets caught up in the disappearance of a young couple who had gone out together in a rowboat. Mattie spoke with the young woman, Grace Brown, just before the fateful boating trip, when Grace gave her a packet of love letters and asked her to burn them. When Grace is found drowned, Mattie reads the letters and finds that she holds the key to unraveling the girl’s death and her beau’s mysterious disappearance. Grace Brown’s story is a true one (it’s the same story told in Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and in the film adaptation, A Place in the Sun), and author Jennifer Donnelly masterfully interweaves the real-life story with Mattie’s, making her seem even more real.

Mattie’s frank voice reveals much about poverty, racism, and feminism at the turn of the twentieth century. She witnesses illness and death at a range far closer than most teens do today, and she’s there when her best friend Minnie gives birth to twins. Mattie describes Minnie’s harrowing labor with gut-wrenching clarity, and a visit with Minnie and the twins a few weeks later dispels any romance from the reality of young motherhood (and marriage). Overall, readers will get a taste of how bitter–and how sweet–ordinary life in the early 1900s could be. Despite the wide variety of troubles Mattie describes, the book never feels melodramatic, just heartbreakingly real. (14 and older) –Jennifer Lindsay

Well, I certainly couldn’t describe this book any better than they did on Amazon so I am glad to put it here on my blog.  Of course it leaves nothing for me to review but that’s ok too lol..

I did have a confusing time with the beginning of the book… well.. half the book! I even called my “sis” in England to ask what she thought about the first part of the book. 

Each chapter changed and I found I didn’t know where I was.  One minute Mattie (the main character) was being told she could NOT go work at the Glenmore… and the next chapter read as if she WAS working at the Glenmore!    I think I was catching on when I called Cath but with all the great reviews on this I wasn’t expecting it to be hard to follow.  I guess I am used to reading things in succession… This is Mattie.. this is her life.. and when she went to work at Glenmore this is what happened.   But it kept jumping: this is now… this was before.. and back again without any indication that this was what was happening.

I also thought this story was to be more about the murdered girl and that seemed to be put on a back burner to me.  The book was more about Mattie.. which I will say that when it got to the last 1/3 of the book the story picked up and got a lot more interesting as she neared her “final decisions based on the dead lady, Grace”.   But it never got comfortable (figuring out “when” we were: in the past or present) until the last 1/3 of the book.  The story is excellent.  It was just confusing for me to read.

Of course I won’t tell you the ending.. that would be mean!  But the author did keep you guessing up until the very end!

For those who think they may want to read this let me tell you: I am not the brightest bulb in the pack so, because I was confused (and stayed that way for 1/2 the book) doesn’t mean YOU will.. which is obvious since other reviews don’t mention having a difficult time as I did…  as I said it was an excellent story.

There are many passages that I probably should write here but I forgot to put a marker in the book.. this ONE I did though and I found it humorous so here it is:

Jeezum…What if God was a woman? Would the pope be out of work?  Would the president be a woman,too?  And the governor? And the sheriff?  And when people married, would the man have to honor and obey?  Would only women be allowed to vote?

(I personally liked the question about husbands be made to honor and obey! heh.. )

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Dr. McCoy (Star Trek Movie) Life-Size Standup Poster
List Price:  
Our Price:  $35.95  (holy cow! awww, but he’s worth it! LOL)
You Save:  
*Shipping: $14.00

I came upon this on the web and I’m finding that it made my day… (can’t stop chuckling lol)

and noooooo I did not send for it … but maybe I should!  Can you just see the faces of the other “old folks” if I stand him outside my door?! … then again maybe I won’t… Karl wouldn’t want to be the fault of a heart attack when the old folks who can’t see well  think he’s real and try jumpin’ dem bones!  (go ahead..groan at the pun.. I did lol)


More Karl Urban!… (woof)…  An unexpected gift from my “sis” across the pond!!   Cath knows me well… and although I need new glasses I have no problem finding this particular cowboy!! Woo Hoo!

I never realized it was part of Lonesome Dove!!!  (but then I never saw it when it was on television)

It’s so nice having a “sis” who know’s a “no brainer pressie” when she see’s one! lol   Thanks again Cath!!!!


I needed some bookmarks but lately they are all pretty expensive and I haven’t seen any I’ve liked, so after playing around I made some for myself! 

Below is a picture of the fronts and backs of 4 bookmarks …

I just sized them and printed them out and then got some Lamination sheets and just cut them to size and stuck the lamination on them..

Hey.. it worked! and yeah yeah.. I couldn’t resist making the Karl Urban one lol lol…

Speaking of bookmarks I finally finished A Northern Light.. I’ll write up something for tomorrow’s post… then I will get into Once Upon a Time reads!!!! 

‘Till then I will leave you with these words of wisdom:

Older women no longer have upper arms, we have wingspans.

We are no longer women in sleeveless shirts, we are flying squirrels in drag.

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Dictionary: fan·ta·sy   (făn’tə-sē, -zē)  

The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy. See synonyms at imagination.
Something, such as an invention, that is a creation of the fancy.
A capricious or fantastic idea; a conceit.

Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements.
An imagined event or sequence of mental images, such as a daydream, usually fulfilling a wish or psychological need.
An unrealistic or improbable supposition.
To imagine; visualize.

Encyclopedia fantasy

Mental images or imaginary narratives that distort or entirely depart from reality. Primary fantasies arise spontaneously from the unconscious, while secondary fantasies are consciously summoned and pursued. Fantasy is important in the lives of children and is a vital element in play. In adult life it is crucial to creative thinking and the making of art.

Thesaurus: fantasy noun

The power of the mind to form images: fancy, imagination, imaginativeness.
A fantastic, impracticable plan or desire: bubble, castle in the air, chimera, dream, illusion, pipe dream, rainbow. An illusory mental image: daydream, dream, fancy, fiction, figment, illusion, phantasm,  reverie, vision.

Literary Dictionary: fantasy 
a general term for any kind of fictional work that is not primarily devoted to realistic representation of the known world. The category includes several literary genres (e.g. dream vision, fable, fairy tale, romance, science fiction) describing imagined worlds in which magical powers and other impossibilities are accepted. Recent theorists of fantasy have attempted to distinguish more precisely between the self‐contained magical realms of the marvelous, the psychologically explicable delusions of the uncanny, and the inexplicable meeting of both in the fantastic.


Stainless Steel Droppings  better known to many as : Carl  is about to embark on his annual Once Upon a Time Challenge!


If you’ve never heard of it (is that possible???) here is a brief version:

The fourth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge officially begins on Sunday, March 21st and ends June 20th. You may choose one or more of the following:


This is really as simple as the name implies. It means you are participating, but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book.


Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time IV criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.


Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology.


Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream OR a viewing of one of the many theatrical versions of the play.


Read two non-fiction books, essay collections, etc. that treat any one or more of the four genres covered in this challenge.

and finally,


This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of the weekend.

You may participate in one quest or multiple quests, it is completely up to you and your reading whims!

You do not need to have a blog to participate, nor do you have to do any sort of formal review of your books. For those who want to, there is the Book Review Site available for you to post links to any challenge-related material you read. This is a great way for all of us to discover new books and for you to potentially generate visits to your own personal site.


Ok.. so that’s it in a nutshell folks!  You can join the challenge or just read along for no particular reason or enjoy the many reviews that will be posted during the next few month.. whatever you decide.. enjoy the “journey”!

So.. My tbr pile is so big I don’t know where to begin, so I tossed a few books down and took a photo:

Percy Jackson: by Rick Riordan… Faery Rebel by R.J.Anderson…  Bones of the Dragon by Weis & Hickman…. Iceland by Betsy Tobin… Time Thief Trilogy by Buckley Archer…   Oricles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie…   Scions & Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks…. Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff.

Are these the books you will read, you ask?

Ummm.. maybe.

Will you read all of them?

Ummm.. probably not.

Some of them?

Hopefully.  But who knows? I may choose from the many others I have !  But if others review really good books I don’t have yet… I may have to open a new category called: Murder she wrote! (oops, I don’t mean to plagiarize!)

The truth is I have so many books I don’t know where to begin! But I do want to join the challenge so I will begin with The Journey (to read one book).

More than likely I will continue on to Quest the First (to read 5 books) but that remains to be seen. 

For now, I will leave you with these thoughts:

Reality : A crutch for people who can’t handle imagination.

Fantasy is my alternate reality.

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