Books, Books, Books

The Persian Pickle Club, Sandra Dallas

The Static of the Spheres, Eric Kraft

Love and Biology at the Centre of the Universe, Jennie Shortridge

A Scattered Life, Karen McQuestion

Magnificent Bastards, Rich Hall

Across the Nightingale Floor, Lian Hearn

How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates-Gill

Skippy Dies, Paul Murray

The Scent of Rain and Lightning, Nancy Pickard

After All These Years, Susan Isaacs

The Stuff That Never Happened, Maddie Dawson

The Good Daughters, Joyce Maynard

It’s Not About the Cookies,  K.A . Thompson

Waiting for Spring,  R.J. Keller

Unconventional,  J.J. Hebert

The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman

Greyhound, Steffan Piper

The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen

Bad Girl Creek, Jo-Ann Mapson

Reunion, J.L. Penn

I’ve just become some kind of reading machine.  Voracious.  And sadly, none of these titles, which I’ve copied from my Kindle home page, stand out in my mind in any kind of meretricious manner.  None of them sucked either, so its all good.  Now I’m reading the Barbara Kingsolver books I’ve missed.   Decidedly different from the usual fluff that puts me to sleep at night.

Date Breaker Halloween Costume

Today for your reading pleasure, two prompts in one.

Seriously, if your date showed up looking like this would you not suspect he had ulterior motives, like hoping you'd quickly drag him off the front porch and into your house before the neighbors see him, and then rip his moronic clothes off?

I don't know how much fun this guy would be at a Halloween party, but his costume is right up there with bumble bees and Care Bears. Not all that scary. So unless he's thinking everyone tonight will be deathly afraid of sugar, I'd say his choice is just……stupid.

Put some fake blood on it and carry a sword or something. Gawd. Don't make me think my corpse bride thing was all wrong.

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If I Were President

United State of Art

The first thing I'd do is tell everyone there's been a terrible mistake.

Then while the mess was being sorted out, I'd get on with my own personal agenda of brilliant ideas until they kicked me out.

First priority – change everything to metric. Because a decimalised system of measurement is a lovely thing. Buy milk by the litre and your lunch meat in grams. It won't kill you.

Then I'd contact Canada and strike a deal to trade Alaska and Hawaii for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Because it makes perfect sense geographically, rather than having part of the country off on its own looking like it doesn't belong to anyone.

I'd make Queen Latifah an actual queen and put her in charge of the day- to-day running of the country, because she seems like a nice person and she might have more of a clue about what's actually going on than I do. (Well, I guess that's a no brainer.)

I'd get going on some kind of rigorous mandatory testing of all couples who want to get married. The exam would require a minimum passing grade and percentage of like answers to prove compatibility, or no license. Go home, study, talk to eachother, try again in three months or find somebody else.

And just wait until I introduce legislation regarding the raising of children! They are the future of our country, after all! Any idiot can have a child but it takes a very special, well trained and educated one to raise him properly. Maybe conception will require special permission from the queen. I'll have to get all the details ironed out.

Have I been impeached yet? I hope so.

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Our house is next door to some Hallowe’en fanatics, so we observe the 31st along with the rest of our neighbors and enjoy the costumed parade across our property. Not saying I’m upset if it falls on a night when I’m working and we miss the whole thing….but we don’t get away with that very often. The little guys are the most fun, looking all confused; but hey, it’s free candy, so why not?

There are three kids who live beside us, but I think it’s ‘dad’ who gets the most enthusiastic about decorating their yard. It’s covered in tombstones and spooky things; witches, skeltons, pumpkins, ghosts. A gigantic mummy has been trying to escape from their front window for a couple of weeks now. There are red flood lights up already, and on Hallowe’en night all of these things plus the sound effects will attract hoards of trick or treaters who love to get freaked out by such things and scream their little heads off all in the name of fun.

I guess this year my door plaque that says “the boogey man lives here” was just too pathetic on its own for them to accept. So they’ve donated one of their many tombstones and propped it up in our yard. It’s placed under a mostly dead birch tree which we’ve been meaning to have cut down, but we can’t do that now! Because an arrow points to it, and the stone reads “The Tree. It Just Needed Water”. Such a sad little epitaph for the poor deceased thing. Almost makes me want to leave it there purely for its decorative effect for Hallowe’ens to come.

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What Is My Favorite Word

 What’s on the menu?  What’s up?

What? is for ‘what do you want’ when somebody calls your name.

What? is for ‘ what did you say? I didn’t hear you’.

What??!!  means ‘are you kidding me? You cannot be serious’.

What the….. can be followed by many and various expletives.

What? can mean ‘what are YOU lookin’ at??’

What? means I can’t believe you actually said what I think you said.

What? is short for ‘omg what was I thinking’ when accompanied by a slap to the forehead.

What was that?

What day is it?

What am I doing here?

What are we going to do NOW?

What makes the world go around?

What do you get when you fall in love?

What’s on tv?

Yeah, well SO WHAT??

What? You don’t think what is a great word? What would we do without it?

Without what, we’d never know what was what.

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Winter Reading

No list for me – I'm a moody reader and have no idea what I might feel like delving into at any given time.

I have a library (read many shelves with books on them) of close to 300 titles, and since getting my kindle last Christmas I've read 69 downloaded books. Is that excessive? Probably. Do I get anything else done?? Not really……

I often pick up whatever looks interesting at Chapters, and this book is one of those. As much as I love my kindle, there's just something so much more satisfying about the weight of a real book in your hands, and having to actually flip pages rather than punch buttons.

My books are always well read – they get borrowed, sometimes before I've had a chance to read them myself. But I've got this one kind of secreted away, because this time it's me first.

I'm just waiting for the Audrey Niffenegger mood to strike me, some cold winter night with the snow blowing and the wind howling. Curled up by the fireplace with a glass of wine, knowing I can stay up all night and finish the entire thing if I feel like it.

There are some perks to being an eccentric old person.

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Optimistically Speaking

If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!" ~Lemony Snicket


It's such a drag to hang around with pessimistic people, so I really do make an effort to keep the doom and gloom prophesies to myself. Nobody loves a complaining worry wart. Unless of course that person is your mother, in which case she's just doing her job.

But somebody who is insanely optimistic about everything is annoying in an entirely different way. You begin to think they're also brainless when nothing ever gets them down. All that fanatical happiness wears you right out.

So I just make an effort to stay positive, look on the bright side, romanticize, idealize.

Dream, ecourage, laugh, love.

I try not to expect, imagine, or anticipate bad outcomes. It's much more fun to believe in endings of the happy kind.

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A Recent Embarrassment


Is ‘recent’ the key word here? Because ’embarrassment’ covers too much ground for only one response.

My son decided I should have an I-Phone. Since getting one about a week ago, I now agree whole heartedly that me and my I-Phone 4 were meant to be. People around me have them, but I’ve never paid much attention. Now I’m madly learning how to text with my thumbs and playing Angry Birds until my head aches. How much freaking fun is that?? It borders on awesome. Really.

I’m so glad I didn’t have to make all the technical decisions on my own and that my son more or less did all that for me. When the Apple guy asked me about my current cell phone, I was pretty much stumped for answers. Like the one to ‘what’s your cell phone number?’ Honestly, who cares? I had to call work to see if they had it written down somewhere, and when we finally got the number right he was able to look up our plan and peruse my usage. Which amounted to pretty much nothing. Because I almost never turned the phone on. The batteries just run down, so what’s the point. I’m either at work or at home where the land lines work just fine and have always kept my cell phone for emergency use only. Like the time my car broke down several miles from my destination and it took me a good twenty minutes to figure out how to use the damn thing and call AMA. And since that’s the only emergency I’ve had in the last 2 years, the poor phone has been somewhere deep in the bowels of my handbag suffering from neglect.

Anyway, all that aside, the smiley Apple guy seriously tried to downsell all the options to me, for some bizarre reason, but I got them anyway. I felt like I needed to reassure him about that. Don’t worry, Apple boy, I WILL use this phone, I promise.

AND – I have now MEMORIZED my phone number!! He would be so proud.

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Superstitious Idle Wishes


No one likes to think they have irrational beliefs, but that’s really all superstitions amount to, in the grand scheme of things.

Most of them result in harmless peculiar habits, like making sure your right foot hits the floor before your left foot when you get out of bed in the morning, so that you’ll have good luck all day. And if your head hits the floor first, I have no idea what that might foretell, except that it’s probably luck of the opposite kind which obviously for you has already started.

I sometimes knock on wood, avoid walking under ladders, (especially if there’s some idiot up there with an open paint can), and if I see a penny I pick it up. I know these are silly practices that have no actual power or impact on anything.

The only superstition I have that causes me just that little bit of real fear is my belief in the consequences of making idle wishes. I know it’s not a reasonable fear, but it’s there all the same.

If I hear a child say “I don’t want to ever grow up!” it makes me afraid that he won’t; that he’ll die young.

Don’t wish to be thin – you might get sick, or find yourself starving.

I don’t ever wish for it to stop raining – what if there’s a drought? I would feel TERRIBLE about that, having been the one who foolishly wished for it.

Yes, it’s rather stupid to think that way, but humor me and be careful what you wish for anyway.

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A Favorite Photo

I love how the wind is blowing my whispy hair and fussy little dress. I love the saggy cloth diaper, the fold over socks, the sturdy white baby shoes.

I love how someone has let me stand on the edge of a picnic table, and how happy I look to be doing just that. Perhaps it was one of those shrieking, giggly and thrilling moments right before stepping off into the air, with complete faith in the person who is making me laugh, knowing he will catch me; that he would never let me fall.

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