Category Archives: Fantasy

All in a Row

Photo Credit: Sadiq Nafee on Unsplash

I just finished the latest installment of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I adore this series, so much so that I am often frustrated while I wait for Louise Penny to write the next one.  In fact, I didn’t rush out to read The Kingdom of the Blind when it was published because I knew I would have a wait for the next one.

At the library over my lunch hour, I found books on CDs by Preston and Douglas; they have four separate character series, but none of the ones that are next on my list were on the library shelf. I’ve read online that you can probably read Preston and Douglas out of order, but I can’t bring myself to do that. Gotta do them in order!

So now I have the next P&D on request from the library and came away from the CD shelves with some other items – a comedy memoir and a young adult fiction that has magic and dragons. Hopefully those will keep be going in the car until my next series arrives!

What’s your favorite series? Do you like to read them in order?

Fantasy Island

Off the shores of Palermo, Sicily, an aristocratic Italian family has put up their private island for sale. It’s called Isola delle Femmine (Island of Women).  It’s uninhabited and is part of a marine park that is protected and used as an elite scuba and snorkeling area.  It can be yours for just $1.1 million.

What will you do with the island once it’s yours?

My Groupie

When I was in the market for a new car four years ago, I delegated the research to YA. She recognizes car makes and models; she knows all our friends’ and neighbors’ cars.  She is definitely a car person.   I gave her my requirements (hybrid, 4-door, red) and off she went.  Her research came in the form of a chart with the five cars that she had identified as possibilities.  One was axed due to being the wrong color and two were eliminated by their price.

We went and test drove the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight. I’d never heard of an Insight before but since I’m definitely NOT a car person, I didn’t think too much about.  I love my Insight but it became clear pretty quickly that I wasn’t the only one who had never heard of an Insight.  Nobody had ever heard of it.  In four years nobody has ever recognized my car, even car people.

So imagine my surprise today, when a guy coming out of the gym as I was getting out of my car, stopped and said “how do you like your Insight?” He had purchased his Insight in November.  We had a nice talk about the mileage (great), the cost of filling up (teeny) and the blue/green light that tells you whether you are using gas or electricity (mesmerizing).  As I went into the gym and he headed to his Insight I thought “this must be what it feels like to be a car person”?  Then when I came out of the gym I’d forgotten where I parked.  Oh well.

We all have our special areas of interest. Do you have comrades in arms?

Pi Day 2019!

It’s my personal holiday again today – Pi Day. Everyone at work knows that I’m off today to bake pies – even a couple of my long-term clients know.  I am allowed to use my “floating holiday” for Pi Day – my boss had it approved by management about 6 years ago.  I even have personalized napkins this year, given to me by a friend after last year’s celebration.

This year’s menu: Dutch Apple, Banofee, Root Beer Float Whoopies, Raspberry Tangerine, Pecan, Bob Andy, Blueberry, Almond Joy, Caramel Pear with Crème Fraiche, Key Lime Meringue and the addictive Crack Pie.

Hope to see those of you in the Twin Cities tonight!

What day would you like to be your floating holiday?

Waitlisted for Llamas

I do some funny things for my job. I have a program in Vail this June and one of the activities is Wilderness Hiking with Llamas.  I’ve never offered a llama activity before, although I have offered camel safaris more than once.

Turns out the llama activity is very popular and we filled up our available spots quickly, forcing me to contact the supplier to see if we could offer the llama hike on a second day or get more llamas. She was able to confirm more llamas, which meant that I had to contact the two couples who had wanted to do the hike after it sold out.  Who knew?

When explaining this all to the client yesterday I used the phrase “waitlisted for llamas”. Sounds a little like a grunge band, doesn’t it?  Waitlisted for Llamas.

What’s the name of your favorite band (or fantasy band…)?

A Wonderful Life?

Today’s trail post comes to us from Occasional Caroline.

My aunt died at the end of January. She was ninety-onederful and a truly remarkable woman. She lived her life with purpose and gusto. In the late 60s, she created one of the first on-site daycare centers in the country, for the children of employees at a large hospital in her city. She marched with MLK in Selma. She was a trailblazer, a world traveler, an adventurer, a humanitarian, an influencer, a sailor, an animal lover, and an avid reader who instilled a love of reading in countless children. She had strong beliefs in justice, equality, and human rights, and she didn’t just believe in them, she lived them.

My cousin’s son wrote a wonderful tribute to her, that he read last week at her memorial service. Another eulogy read at the memorial, was written by the minister of the church she had attended for many years, before moving to Florida about 4 years ago. The eulogy started out normally enough, stating her date and city of birth, the names of her parents and sibling (my mother), and some accurate biographical information. Then, random events from someone else’s life began to be interspersed with the things we all recognized. I thought throughout the reading that there were things there that I didn’t recall, but I had never lived in the same city as my aunt, uncle and cousins, so even though we kept in touch quite well through the years, I accepted that I might have missed out on hearing about some aspects of their lives. However, the description of a family road trip when she and my mother were children, I couldn’t explain away.

My cousins and I discussed the service later that afternoon and we had all had the same reaction; WTH? There were life events scattered through the eulogy that none of us had ever heard of, and certainly had not submitted to the minister for inclusion in the service. When I got home, I went to see my mother, almost directly from the airport, and read a copy of the eulogy to her. My burning question was about the story of my grandparents and their two daughters taking a road trip to Mexico, having car trouble, eventually locating a mechanic who was able to order parts but couldn’t get them for several days, so he (the mechanic) invited the family to stay at his home until the parts arrived. When the car was fixed, the road trippers bid farewell to the kind mechanic and continued on their journey to Mexico. Enroute, they saw a man painting a mural and stopped so my grandfather could chat with the artist, who turned out to be Diego Rivera! My mother assured me, in no uncertain terms, that this was not something that had ever happened in any family she’s ever been a part of, or known about.

It’s a mystery, but we have two possible theories as to how this and several other heretofore unknown “family” events made it into the memorial service. Perhaps my aunt wrote her own augmented obituary, left it at the church with instructions that it be opened in the event of her death, just to mess with us. Or, more likely, the minister used a eulogy for another recently deceased woman with the same first name, as a boilerplate for the one she wrote for my aunt, and forgot to delete all the bits about the other dead lady.

In any event, the random additions to my aunt’s life story make for a quirky memory that will live on (and possibly be embellished) in family lore for years to come.

How would you “enhance” your obituary?

Zippy the Wonder Car

With a nod to Anna, who started this discussion a couple of days back….

I bought my first car, a Toyota, when I was living in Northfield. I had spent the first winter after leaving school riding my bike out to the Country Kitchen on Highway 19 and didn’t want to do that again.  It was pale blue and got me through several winters before giving up the ghost.  I didn’t name that car; giving a name to a car didn’t even occur to me.

Then I met a woman who called her little car “Zippy the Wonder Car”. To this day I’m not sure why I thought this was so enchanting but I did, so when I purchased my next car (back in the 80s), I decided she should have a name.  She was a Honda Civic and when I discovered that the Italian word for flirt was “civetta”, I was hooked.  I had Civetta for almost 15 years.

I let Child help me name our next car, which made the process a LOT longer. This car was a Saturn Ion and we eventually settled on Ivy.  We usually called her by her whole name – Ivy the Ion.  Not quite as much fun as the Italian word for flirt, but it stuck.

My current car is named Brekke. She’s a Honda Insight and I couldn’t find any “I” names that I really liked.  Brekke is a character from one of my favorite sci fi authors, Anne McCaffrey.  Brekke is one of a few characters on the dragon world of Pern who have the ability to communicate telepathically with ALL dragons, not just her own.  If I were to live on a dragon world, that is an ability I would certainly want.

Have you ever named an inanimate object?

If not, what name would you choose for your current mode of transport?