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Archive for June, 2011

Long, long ago…

Long, long ago.. before “wall stickers”… I painted my sons bedroom wall….  I had never painted anything to large before nor since!  Maybe it wasn’t the greatest…. but it was done with love.

Along with me, they were big Star Trek Fans.. to this day my oldest can tell you scenes from episodes and names of episodes etc.  I am lousy at Trivia.. I just watched because I liked it ..and of course because of Dr McCoy!  woohoo! lol.

(enter the Klingons! ….)

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Local Library

I went to our local Library yesterday.. just to see what all they had to offer.. I took a few snapshots while there.  They had some nice pictures when you first come in…

Then they remind you that you ARE in a Library!

Lots of books… duh

Strangely enough I wasn’t stimulated, which shocked me.. so I left and went to the Friends of the Library where I find my dollar books!

I have been super good lately (compared to what I’m not sure).  But I have been not getting so much “just because” I can.

I went all through the usual areas that I look in, and my last stop was by the sci-fi, which many of you will know I am not a reader of sci-fi… I’d rather watch the movies lol.. but..some sci-fi crosses the boundaries into fantasy fiction… and my absolute favorite books do just that… “PERN”!

….and just lookie what I found!  A Doubleday hard bound copy of Harper Hall !!! All three  books in one edition!! And in really good condition!

I was thrilled no end to grab that puppy right up!

I wish I could say I like the Doubleday version, but I have their one of the first trilogy too and the printing is smaller than it is in paperbacks!!   Not good for aged people like myself, even with glasses!  The printing in this one is at least dark which helps tremendously.. and no matter what I am happy to have a hard bound copy!

(photo: 3 paperbacks.. and the doubleday hardback)

So my excursion to the Library still produced something good.. and that was the fact  that I couldn’t go past The Friends of the Library without stopping! lol… yeah me~!

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A storm always “cools things down”.  Well.. there’s really no such word as “cool” in Florida in the summer..what it means is : it goes from high 90’s to low 90’s.    Anyway… look what I found after yesterday’s storm!

Mama Moorhen has new babies! This time SIX!

And then as I headed inside (because low 90’s with high humidity is NOT cool no matter what they say) I spotted a visitor to the pond!  And proceeded to walk closer and take a bunch of pictures since there hasn’t been a whole lot to take pictures of lately..

 

Pretty isn’t he?  Believe it or not he’s a juvenile Little Blue Heron, who will one day be all “blue” lol.. I wish he’d stay mottled I think he’s gorgeous!  (and I’ve only seen one other juvenile since I’ve been in Fla.)

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Day of the Egret

The Pond has been eerily quiet…

The ducks have all but disappeared..

Occasionally, I see one Moorhen and two “teenagers”..

Oh and I still see “mama fish” and hundreds of baby fish..

And two soft shelled (big) turtles and 2 babies about the size of the palm of my hand…

But birds?………………..

They must have gone somewhere to find cooler air because they are not around much this year!…

So today when a lone Egret stopped by I whipped out the camera and took some pictures..

They are always so squeaky clean, that they draw your attention to how white they are.

(below) “I don’t know what deodorant that was but it sure isn’t working!”

oh.. and one lone Anhinga…

Later : late afternoon:  two young  Vultures came down for a drink from the pond and some shade.  I walked very close to them and they were “smallish” and too hot to fly away I guess:

Twins!…

 

It finally rained yesterday.. a lot! The pond looks flooded now.. I hope it goes down quickly as we are due for “regular downpours”.

Whelp, that’s it from the old folks Pond!…

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Storyteller

Storyteller: the authorized Biography of Roald Dahl by Donald Stubrock.

Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 14, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416550828

From Publishers Weekly

Only a special author can enter the imaginative realm of a child to write a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yet this authorized biography, written by someone who knew Dahl and worked with the cooperation of the author’s adult children and both wives–one of whom was film star Patricia Neal–covers the man and his reputation thoroughly while veering from deeper psychological readings of his work. This is not to say the book is superficial. Neal observed that her husband was a modern Pied Piper to children, and an element of the conjurer runs insightfully through this solid biography. Dahl considered himself a wanderer between his native Norway, the U.K., New York, and Hollywood, and a depressed one at that. He was drawn to the high life and celebrities such as Chaplin, Dorothy Lamour, and Robert Altman, and to expensive artwork and furnishings. Well covered are Dahl’s English boarding-school years, his flying for the RAF during WWII; prickly relations with agents, editors, and publishers; the tragic lives of two of his children; and his up-and-down marriage to Neal. Yet because this biography is authorized, one comes away feeling that there is more to tell. 16 pages of b&w photos.

In the early part of the book, once his early childhood was covered, came a bit of English History with Roald’s time spent in the RAF. It seems that time would change a big part of his life.  Once he crash landed his airplane he would have back surgeries the rest of his life.

I read this book because for a long time I did not like Roald Dahl.  I couldn’t figure how a man could be married to Patricia Neal for so long, have 5 children with her, help her through a devastating stroke and then fall in love with someone else!

I’m still not sure I understand.  But I did get a bit more information about “both sides” of the story.

They were a couple with TWO egos on the line.  Patricia’s for acting and Roald’s for writing.  There’s no denying that that clashed in the marriage.  But Roald never once stopped writing.  It did take some time of his writing short stories and articles and scripts for movies before he finally drifted into writing children’s books.  But once he did there was no turning back.

I found the book much more interesting than I expected.  I’m not really sure “what” I expected, except hopefully to not dislike Mr. Dahl as much as I did. 

There were pages I felt sorry for him.

There were pages I wanted to slap him across the face.

And there was always the hidden ego.

In the end Roald would describe himself as someone with 2 steel hips, no calf muscle and 6 spinal operations to his credit.  But he never felt sorry for himself.  Instead.. he lobbied for knighthood, which was something he never did get.

The man was certainly an excellent writer of children’s books, there’s no denying that. And I will admit to having read James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud to my kids when they were young… but I never did get around to reading some of his later work, most especially “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) or “Witches”.  I might have to do something about that one day…

In conclusion this was a very good book and I want to thank Kelly for making it possible for me to get the book to read!! Thanks again Kelly!!  Right now it’s bargain price on Amazon for anyone who thinks they might like to read it!!

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Of all people, Carl knows that I am NOT a short story reader!  But since I more then overdid my allotted reading, (I signed up to read 4) by actually reading TEN books and also posting on two movies I thought I’d shock Carl and wind up by reading a few (very few) short stories out of a book I have called The Way of the Wizard.  Next to Dragons, Sorcerers are pretty neat characters.. some are good… some are evil..but they all are interesting ! 

The first short story was In Lost Lands by George RR Martin (a familiar name to most!)  There was a witch named Gray Alys, and as the story goes Gray can make anything happen that you ask for… for a price. But she never turned anyone down….  this story is short and sweet , as they say, and moralistic..at least in my humble opinion one must “be careful what you wish for!” I think that this was very cleverly written.

The second short story was: John Uskglass & the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner. (one hellava title huh?!) by Susanna Clarke.  The gist of this short story is a poor Charcoal Burner goes up against a most powerful wizard for all the wrongs he kept doing to th e Charcoal Burner.  But, the Charcoal Burner goes to pray for help…and gets it!…  moral being: there is always someone more powerful than you are!

A third short story is called Wizard’s Apprentice by Delia Sherman.  When Nick ran away he found himself at the mercy of a Evil Book Wizard, trapped once he excepted food and a place to sleep.  When he discovered he couldn’t run away from the wizard he decided to read some of the wizard’s books…and truly became a Wizards Apprentice and and wound up finding a new home.

And number 4 short story is: El Regalo by Peter S Beagle.  This one was my favorite.  It was about sibling rivalry.  Possibly you know the feeling.. “mom likes you the best” sort of thing.  This was an older HS sister and her much younger little brother who she discovers by seeing him do strange things, that he’s a witch!  Not only was this a clever short story but it had comedy in it as well.  Let me leave you with my favorite quote of this story:

“… I swear by Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I will keep my hands off of my baby brother… “

“My baby brother, the monster!  He’s gotten worse since he started sticking a Y in his name…” “,,,and I will stop calling him Ex Lax…”   (gawd I cracked up!)

Ok so those are my ever so brief reports on short stories.. they really are short!  Much more and I could just post the whole stories!

So, after all is said and done here’s my list of things from Once Upon a Time:

Wee Free Men…Terry Pratchett……………..267 pgs

A Hat Full of Sky..Terry Pratchett………….295 pgs

Wintersmith…Terry Pratchett…………………464 pgs

4 I Shall Wear Midnight..Terry Pratchett……368 pgs

Winnie the Pooh..A.A. Milne………………..162 pgs

Tooth & Claw…Jo Walton……………………253 pgs

Name of the Wind…Patrick Rothfuss……..672 pgs

Wise Man’s Fear…..Patrick Rothfuss……..996 pgs

Daddy Long Legs…Jean Webster…………114 pgs

10 Warlock…. Michael Scott…………………..386 pgs

Ten books: 3,977 pages!! Woo Hoo!! (not too shabby for a slow reader!)

My favorite of them all is Warlock. But then it had 4 books before it to keep me interested !!   It would be followed by the Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear.  I am happy to say that I enjoyed all of them!

Then I posted on two Movies:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and King Kong.

And lastly this post about some short stories!  

I think this is the best I’ve ever done for OUaT ! well, variety wise that is… a few years back I did more than 10 books ..but now I’m older and read slower ..but still enjoying them all!

As always Once Upon a Time was great fun… and I look forward to RIP and some good Gothic Mysteries!!!!!

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In Search of…

A trip to the Beach to get some shells for the “possible” faery house! (have to have many natural items to choose from !)

On my way to the beach on the boardwalk I noticed that the Sea Grapes were doing their thing. Most of the time they are just leaves but once a year they produce grape-like clusters.

… the wild cactus we also in bloom.!

At all times I kept an eye on the lifeguard building  so I would know where I came in!

The water on my feet felt good but the pickin’s were slim.

While I searched for small colorful shells, two black headed gulls landed near by.. one was nice and stood quietly while I snapped it’s picture.

…the other one never shut up!

 

when I got back home and spread them out ..this was all I managed to find.. I was fussy.. and of course they had to be small!

….heres a closer look at some

I did kinda like this sandstone though..

So that’s my findings for today….to be honest even with my feet in the water and the “seabreeze”…it was too hot to be outside! Trust me, I didn’t stay very long there. (it got to 95 but the weather said with the humidity it was more like 102. ..and to think, it’s only June!)

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