Category Archives: books

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Boat?

I’m not a big graphic novel fan but I couldn’t resist Teenboat: Angst of a Teen, Thrill of Being a Boat by Dave Roman.  The main character literally turns into a boat – sometimes at will, sometimes by accident.  Fascinating.

You can choose to become an inanimate object at will. What will you choose?

 

 

Helpful Hints When You Travel

I ran across a little book belonging to my father INSTRUCTIONS  for AMERICAN SERVICEMEN in BRITAIN 1942.  It was issued by the War Department, Washington, DC.  It is a delightful little manual for good relations when you visit Great Britain.  I feel like I should send it back to Washington so they can reread it. Here are some of the headings:

NO TIME TO FIGHT OLD WARS

BRITISH ARE RESERVED, NOT UNFRIENDLY

DON’T BE A SHOW OFF

THE BRITISH ARE TOUGH

AGE INSTEAD OF SIZE

REMEMBER THERE’S A WAR ON

BRITAIN, CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY

WASTE MEANS LIVES

KEEP OUT OF ARGUMENTS

BE FRIENDLY, BUT DON’T INTRUDE ANYWHERE IT SEEMS YOU ARE NOT WANTED

IT IS ALWAYS IMPOLITE TO CRITICIZE YOUR HOSTS; IT IS MILITARILY STUPID TO CRITICIZE YOUR ALLIES

I think this is a nice quote ” When you see a girl in khaki or air force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic, remember she didn’t get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich”.

Well, that sort of sums up a lot, doesn’t it.

Do you have any advice to add to the list? 

Loincloths `R Us

After a really busy week, I spent half of Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday binge-watching Tarzan. So here’s my question.  If Tarzan was raised by apes, who do not wear clothing, why does he wear a loin cloth?  When he was a child, who sewed that loin cloth?  When he returns to Africa after his stint in England, what tailor does he go to, to get his loin cloth?  OK, I guess that’s three questions.

What’s your favorite piece of comfort clothing?

 

Mystery

I looked through the vendor booths at the hand bell workshop I am attending and noticed a book series about murder mysteries and whodunits that take place in bell choirs.  The size of the print (large) and the cover art didn’t suggest a lot of literary merit, but I guess there must be a market for such books. One of Dorothy Sayers best books is about a death involving church bell ringers.

This made me think about expanding the series to include other groups and professions.  What about Death at the Elks Lodge  or The Venomous Inkblot?   

Think of some mysteries that could be written about your job or group. Motives, victim, perpetrator, weapon, method? Be creative!

Bonding over Books

This morning at the library, as I was picking up my held books, I overheard a budding friendship in the next aisle over. Two five-year olds had an extended conversation about what books they were getting, visiting their grandparents, puppies and like all good Minnesotans, the weather.

I met my best friend on April 16, 1983, in a small room 4 floors below the IDS Center. It was my first day at the soon-to-be-opened B. Dalton IDS. Since I was new to B. Dalton, there were several training modules that I had to read through and then take corresponding tests. Sara was transferring over from another store and needed to do some paperwork as well.  We talked while we worked, about books and pets and husbands and boyfriends – probably the weather as well.  Then we went to lunch across the street at Eddingtons where we discovered we also shared a deep love of bread and cheese.

We’ve been friends ever since, through weddings, divorces, parents’ deaths, kids, home purchases, health issues, money issues – you name it. I can only hope that the kids at the library this morning can continue a friendship that started with books!

Where did you meet your BFF?

The Wind Died Down

Last Friday, Husband and I left Jamestown, ND after playing hand bells at an Eastern Star convention. (That is a post in itself! ) We left about 7:00 pm.  It was still pretty light, as far north as we are.  By 8:00 we ran into the worst rain storm I have encountered on the road.  We could see the storm coming for miles, a rotating cloud of blue black, with white wind clouds on the fringe, threatening hail.  We learned later that the wind was blowing at 70 mph in this storm. The storm hit with a hard punch, and the rain was torrential. I pulled over and put my emergency flashers on,  since I couldn’t see the road, anything that was in front of me, or any exit from the interstate. It took a good 20 minutes for the storm to diminish and for us to cautiously proceed on our way home.  I found I  was only 20 yards from an exit, but it was obscured by the rain and wind. We saw a pickup and trailer in the ditch not far from where we pulled over. There was no hail, I am happy to report.

We have lived with the wind for 30 years out here.  It is a force to contend with.  Our house is perpetually dusty.  On Saturday, the wind blew steadily at 35 mph with gusts up to 45. The tomato and pepper plants  tossed all day.  They were wind whipped and twisted. They amazingly recover every time this happens.  We chose to stay indoors and dust and clean.  It was so unpleasant to even step outdoors.  One of my secretaries said they were branding calves on Saturday and they had to close the barn door because the wind was blowing dust all over the food for the people helping them.

The wind finally died down on Saturday night. It was such a relief.  Sunday was calm, and we watered and  recovered from the gusts of the days before. In  Giants In the Earth, Rolvaag writes of women going mad with the wind in Eastern South Dakota.  I can relate to them.

Tell about memorable storms. Tell about stories and poems of the wind.

Mother Nature – The Great Equalizer

Thanks to Mother Nature’s prolonged temper tantrum this spring and the bad brakes on Ben’s truck, I ended up getting my bales from Bachman’s this year. I should have made two trips, but I only ever say “I should have made two trips” after I’ve made just one trip and it hasn’t been the best idea.  Case in point – four bales of straw in a teeny little Honda Insight.  It took me 40 minutes and the vacuum to get the car clean afterwards.

As I was conditioning the bales, I was drawn to gardening books. I read Joel Karsten’s latest straw bale gardening book as well as The Potting Shed Papers by Charles Elliott and a fascinating book, written in 1870 by Charles Dudley Warner – My Summer in a Garden.

He could have been writing last week and he had a way of looking at gardening and nature that resonated for me. Here’s one bit I really liked:

“I am more and more impressed, as the summer goes on, with the inequality of man’s fight with Nature; especially in a civilized state. In savagery, it does not so much matter; for one does not take a square hold, and put out his strength, but rather accommodates himself to the situation, and takes what he can get, without raising any dust, or putting himself into everlasting opposition. But the minute he begins to clear spot larger than he needs to sleep in for a night, and to try to have his own way in the least, Nature is at once up, and vigilant, and contests him at every step with all her ingenuity and unwearied vigor.”

Who are you doing battle with these days?