Slamming Open the Door

Slamming open the door

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This is a selection of poems that stays with you, maybe not the entire poems, but the feelings and certain lines are sure to. Right through to the final poem the author is telling an ongoing story that doesn’t end with that last poem. I think the imagery of Death Barged In is so strong as to seat you at the table or see the rearranged furniture. The human connection between reader and author is undeniable even if this particular tragedy hasn’t come to your door.

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Summer 6 pack

Summer books

Looking for something to toss in the beach bag or just for enjoying on your deck?

Here are 6 books that are great options, add them to your list!

  1. The Manor: three centuries on a slave plantation on Long Island by Mac Griswold. Right from the title you know this is going to be a story you want to know the background on. An amazing chance to dig through unexplored history of a house kept in the same family. (non fiction)
  2. The Forest House: a year’s journey into the landscape of love, loss and starting over by Joelle Fraser. Don’t be deterred by the subtitle of this book, it is a wonderful story and beautifully written. There are many lovely lines throughout and it is not at all just about the grief of loss. (non fiction)
  3. All the Way Home:  building a family in a falling-down house by David Giffels.  This book explores the desire to find a place to make home, and the work that goes into making that happen. But it is also the history of a house as it becomes someone else’s home. (non fiction)
  4. Maisie Dobbs (book 1) by Jacqueline Winspear. A bit of mystery for summer reading, this first book in the Maisie series is set in the years following what will become the First World War. Maisie’s story is told as she branches out to become an investigator in England following a most unusual education.  (fiction)
  5. Local Wonders: seasons in the Bohemian Alps by Ted Kooser. A lovely book of place unknown to many of us. Kooser does a terrific job at capturing and sharing his surroundings in every chapter. A great book for reading and putting down while you mull over what you read. (non fiction)
  6. The Life and Tines of the thunderbolt Kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson. Laugh out loud funny as many of his books are, you really can’t go wrong with any of his books. This one covers his childhood in all its hilarity, and it is likely you will end up reading parts aloud so someone else can enjoy the humor. (memoir)

I could list even more books, but I know how everyone hopes for a 6 pack for the summer!

What a summer!

Summer at Tiffany cover

I usually don’t read memoirs as the people tend to come across as too unstable or self-absorbed. Marjorie Hart’s memoir is neither of those. I saw it at my local bookstore a couple of years ago and got it on a whim. If you enjoy time and place stories this is the book for you to read this summer. It speaks of a time that in many ways was much freer for young girls to have an adventure in than today, one where they wouldn’t end up on the news as part of a “dreadful tale”. It is a book that makes you long for those summers of youth, when so much seemed possible and makes you ask yourself “When was my summer at Tiffany?” Set in 1945 there is so much to enjoy about this book, and you can feel the excitement of Marjorie and her friend as if you were with them. For anyone wanting an action packed, angst ridden, party filled, wild summer tale, this will not suit them. But if you enjoy a gentle reminiscence and a time capsule of memories that seem at the end to be almost a dream-like collection, give it a read. If nothing else, you’ll admire the gumption the girls had.

(I know what happened here)

(This is a ; & a ) post, enjoy!)

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I drive by this house daily and nothing seemed out of place, until last week when obviously a disruption in the ordinary daily events had occurred.

But first, let me give you the background story so you understand how I reached my conclusion.

Last year or so, as my daughters and I drove by we saw a small boy, about 5 years old or so, on the porch. He was poking at a garden gnome that was perched on the railing of the porch, forcing it closer and closer to the edge until it toppled off and fell to the ground. Now, had I not seen the site in this state I would have just chuckled about the antics of small children and thought no more about it.

But I could not.

Because those antics resulted in the current state of affairs, and because I had read

garden gnome book

shortly before seeing the altercation between the boy and gnome.

And I knew the dangerous course of events the child had unknowing put into motion.

Given the suddenness of the change from ordinary house to the scene shown above, I believe that there is little doubt the gnomes took their revenge for the attack on their fellow gnome. I mean, what else could it be that could cause such damage? It isn’t like people tend to leave houses a total wreck when they move out, right?  It is obvious that the occupants fled from the scene in  great haste (…if they got away at all), leaving belongings scattered everywhere. The rooms still have toys in them, there is a tv on the porch, furniture here and there and other assorted household debris.  I think it is clear, don’t mess with garden gnomes.

They are watching,

they are organized,

and they are here.

Birding about

Love Birds by Trevor Silvester Have some free time this weekend and need a few laughs? Find out what type of bird you are in Silvester’s book. While you can’t take the tests for someone else to figure out their type, it is so much fun to do together. Self, spouse, kids, friends and on. I laughed so hard at some of the apt descriptions that I had to stop and collect myself. Written in  segments based on the results you get make it a very quick read. Not a peacock? Then you skip the peacock section. The selection of birds is good too as there are no hawks, eagles, vultures or turkeys that already have strong associations attached to them. It is a fun and easy way to sort out the traits that we have, love or make us crazy without anyone feeling like an odd duck. So why not give it a go, enjoy the humor and come home to roost this weekend.

(For the record, I am a kingfisher. It explains so much!)

courtesy: allaboutbirds.org

courtesy: allaboutbirds.org

 

Trying to guess

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Wondering about what is going to happen next  in Ukraine? Or wherever else in the world events will seem to suddenly burst into the news with startling upheaval? Kaplan’s book can give you a good foundation for explaining how geography can play a major role in how countries act and react. In days past nations had natural geographic features that acted as their boundaries, but even though we can now obliterate each other from outer space geographical features still matter. We all want buffers, hence locking doors our doors at night, so do nations. Some just have better ones than others, and those who don’t feel insecure. This is a good book to explain some aspects of various nations behavior towards their neighbors, though it is always more complex than just one thing. Which brings me to:

anyway you slice itWonder why some countries seem to be constantly veering between one crisis to another? It can be easily explained in this book about rationing. The important thing to know is that there will always be those who end up living on little and others who take more than they need. Recently on the news a reporter was interviewing someone in California about the drought and what it would mean for our supermarket shelves. His reply was that it wouldn’t have much of an impact because we would just import more food from “abroad”. Ahhh, the famous elsewhere of “abroad”, where the flash of cash will end up resulting in scarcity for those who live there. Food production is a matter of national security worldwide, and it is good to keep in mind that Ukraine was once called the breadbasket of the USSR. Maybe it is a land grab based on geographical insecurity or maybe food production down the line, or even a smoke screen for something else entirely. But if you are curious, and can’t set aside the days to read one of the many voluminous “History of Russia” books, these can give you a little glimpse and some thought-provoking insights. And not just for Russia, but for other countries too, as the topics relate to the world at large. (And they aren’t depressing to read.)