Sunday, July 20, 2014

Birthday fun

 This weekend was our daughter's birthday and everyone was here together!
 PH fired up the pizza oven in the backyard.....
.....and we each made our own from a smorgasbord of toppings
 Charlie is a straight cheese man
 This morning was beautiful so we took the kids down to the lake with their toy boats made for them by our neighbor Walter.  Years ago when Charlie was a little guy one of his favorite books was Toy Boat by Randall deSeve and illustrated by Loren Long. 
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I asked Walter, a woodworker, if he could construct a simple little toy boat for him and he not only did one for Charlie but has continued to make one for each of the kids.  Michael received his this weekend.
He sat on the shore and played in the shallows but when he saw a real boat go by he made sure I saw it, too.

Happy summer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A new mystery

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Let me say upfront that the TV show Bones is my favorite.  I watch, record and re-watch each episode over and over.  It becomes my white noise as I go about my day.  But, gasp!  I have never read one of Kathy Reichs’ books featuring Temperance Brennan and upon which the show is based.   And let me assure you, I DO know the difference between a book and a movie or tv show based on a book.  They aren’t the same, they don’t even try to be the same.

OK, so just now I finished my first “Bones” book.  Bones Never Lie  by Kathy Reichs. I feel like I came late to the party and everyone is already in the know on the latest gossip and life stories of the other guests.  I don’t know what I expected.  It’s important when starting a new book series to start at the beginning, get to know the characters, watch them grow.

 I knew Book Temperance would be “different” that was for sure.  But I wasn’t expecting this different.  The book Brennan makes the TV Brennan seem like she’s still a work in progress.  TV Temperance  is like an evolving alien that needs to learn how this society works. She has tact issues,  but over the years her friends have helped temper her (no pun intended.)  Book Temperance reads more like a seasoned cop who doesn’t spend near as much time in the lab with bones.   The science is there, and we can be assured it’s correct.  The stereotypical detectives are there.  The ex is there.  And, thank goodness, the story is there.   I didn’t figure it out till near the end and in a mystery that’s important.  There’s a serial killer out there and the investigation moves from North Carolina to Montreal to Vermont and back I don’t want to give it away.  It’s too easy to get into the retelling of a mystery and spoil it so just be assured, this won’t be the last “Bones” book I read.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who said summer is laid back?

                                       Food, flowers in bloom, family fun. It's summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Man Called Ove

I don’t really know quite what to say about this book.  Usually, I am conflicted when the blurb says “in the style of” or “if you liked that then you’ll love this” and this one had that.  It said, “In the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.”    Well, I DID like both of those books but it made me a little skeptical.  What?  Another book about a cantankerous old man?
Well, let me tell you.  If the publisher sent me a carton of this book I’d walk up and down the street passing it out to everyone I saw and then ask for another carton.  I couldn’t and didn’t say that about Harold Fry or Major Pettigrew.
I will gladly stand impatiently tapping my foot waiting for Fredrik Backman’s next book.  I laughed.  I sat all by myself in my chair on the back porch reading this and would guffaw out loud. And then I would cry.  The intensity of the sadness when Ove talked to his wife was just a little more than I wanted to feel. But I did.  All’s well, because in a few more paragraphs I was laughing out loud again.  I just this minute finished this book and the tears are still stinging.  But I’m smiling, too.
Ove, an irascible man who has strong ideas and strict principles and stringent routines about everything, loses his wife and then his job.  His loneliness is heartrending and tender. How does one fill one’s day? How does one learn to be alone? Ove is a man of little words but big on principle, on doing a job for the sake of the job, of doing what’s right just because it’s the right thing to do, even though it’s going to put him in contact with people he considers amazingly ignorant, of being the man he was taught by his father to be.
One day new neighbors move in, Ove is introduced when the husband can’t do something as simple as backing up a U-Haul trailer without taking out Ove’s mailbox.  In correcting the situation, Ove finds himself saddled with young children, a cat, teenagers, cafes, hospitals.   Don’t even try to predict what’s going to happen and I can only promise you the read of the summer.