Anyway, this one will be fast and furious and to the point since there's so much catching up to do.
After a spate of spring-like days, I decided it was time to break out the sandals again. That means it's time to expose feet again, and mine were looking pretty rough. I treated myself to a pedicure a week ago Friday...... after which our temps plummeted again for another week of winter.
We took Jimmy and Rosemary to the zoo last Saturday to celebrate Zoo Weekend. It was a madhouse, but a happy one.
We even braved the playground area in order to get to the petting zoo so they could pet all the soft, furry animals.
Jimmy made a bee-line for the tortoise, and as you can tell, offered the poor fellow some directions on how he might best escape the crowds.
The zoo offered pony rides. Nothing doing.
Girl had to ride the camel.
I attended my Little Old Lady Literary Luncheon this week. The table arrangements were simple and quite lovely. When I got up close to this one I discovered that the arranger had used dried split peas to stick those roses and tulips in. I have no-zip-zero-nada esthetic abilities, so this sort of thing just amazes me.
Oh, let me back up to that whole zoo thing for a second. You might remember that I keep a pseudo-journal on my desk in the home office. I write notes like "got pedicure yesterday, but too cold to bare toes today -- bummer." You might also remember that Rosemary sneaks into my office at every opportunity, and that she has discovered my journal. She left a little Valentine message a few weeks ago, you might recall, but this time what cracked me up (and warmed my heart during this past week's cold snap) was discovering that she'd taken it upon herself to journal our zoo visit to save me the trouble.
We ended our week going to the rodeo last night, which was always a huge deal when I was growing up. My Grandpappy (who was inducted, posthumously, into the Alabama Cattleman's Hall of Fame in 2001) was a world-famous auctioneer. He died just before I turned nine years old, but to this day, because of the trips I took with him to the stockyards, the earthy-clean smell of dirt and animals summons the feeling that he is very much still a presence in my life. Henry and I used to take the boys when they were little, but we haven't gone ourselves in a number of years. It didn't take me 30 seconds after entering Garrett Coliseum to feel like a kid again. I want to come back as a barrel rider in my next life. I want to know what it feels like to be in control of that much beautiful power, that much speed. I cannot imagine anything more thrilling.
The week for our Rosemary ended with her experiencing a pretty big thrill. She and her Mama and little brother went on a camping trip with their Granna and Papa Marsh, where she caught her first fish! It was kind of a big deal, as you can plainly tell. I'm so grateful for modern technology - this is a moment her Pop and I were thrilled to be able to witness.
BOOKS I'VE FINISHED
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes the hype is true! I cannot wait until my grandchildren get to read this story about being different, and loving people who are.
Like all really great books for kids, this one works because, at its heart, it's about just how tough and glorious just being a kid can be. There are universal themes: being the new kid at school, the weird push and pull of not being a little kid anymore but not quite being ready to let go of that... all of that.
Garnethill by Denise Mina
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This first-in-a-series had been on my TBR list for a long time. I jumped through lots of hoops to get my hands on a copy: the person I just knew had a copy was in the middle of a move and couldn't put her hands on it, the local library didn't have a copy, it wasn't available for Kindle download, and I am on a "book diet" trying only to buy bound copies when it's a book I am certain I want to have in my home library. I finally found a used copy on sale, and bit.
Quite a mixed bag for me: strong start, enough interest to read the second in the series, and probably only disappointed because of heightened expectations I had for it.
In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I chose this one because it was offered at a discount to download to my Kindle, and Rhys Bowen is an author with whom I was familiar, although I'd never read one of her books. One of my old bookselling saws is that there are great writers and there are great storytellers. Even when a writer is only one of those, I find their books well worth my time, and this novel was certainly that. Bowen is a solid writer, and a very good storyteller.
Set during WWII, when the German invasion of England was imminent, there were a group of British citizens who cooperated with the Germans. They weren't Nazi sympathizers, they were (in their view) pragmatists who didn't want their country's architectural and national treasures destroyed by bombing. It is from this piece of history that Bowen weaves her tale.There are many elements in this story that readers looking for different things can get hooked on: wartime romance, spies, the ongoing fascination that Americans have with the British aristocracy, and Bowen manages them all with nary a misstep. There were a couple of wild leaps, but hey!, it's fiction. Altogether an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
(and will probably splurge on)