About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Off the Grid

Just a quick FYI for all my blogger BFFs. As the spies say on my favorite BBC "Spooks" program, I'm "off the grid" until about the first of June. Friday my Geek Squad friend and I were trying to upgrade the memory on my computer and things went very wrong. As in my computer crashed. Even a trip to the Office Depot emergency room for computers didn't revive it. So, I'm now shopping for a new computer, worrying about setup and learning Windows 7. The learning curve will be steep, I'm sure.

I'll check in with your blogs when I'm at the public library reading e-mails, but won't be taking library computer time to post here. No blogging, facebook, or e-chatting for at least two weeks--very boring time. I'll miss you. See you around the first of June.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Hairpin curves on narrow winding roads in the Cevennes Mountains of southeast France--such as these-are just some of the many challenges facing Catherine Parkstone, the heroine of Rosy Thornton's A Tapestry of Love. Equal parts romance and travelogue, Thornton tells her story with a warm, engaging voice. Not long into the book began thinking: I really love this story, especially the main character, the French farmers and villagers and their way of life. For this reason I chose The Tapestry of Love for this week's Tuesday Teaser.

Teaser Tuesday is described by its host, Miz B over at Should Be Reading ,as a "weekly bookish meme" open to any reader who wants to play along. If, like me, you're always curious about what people are reading or on the lookout for the next great read, then this may by your meme. To play, just click on Miz B's link above for the simple rules.

The Tapestry of Love
by Rosy Thornton

"The things we think we want," he said softly, "sometimes it turns out they're not what we really want at all."

"No." It was all she could manage, a simple acknowledgement, though it might just as well be taken as denial. p. 265

Book Description: After her divorce Catherine. already in her late 40s, sells her home in England and moves to a small hamlet in the Cevennes Mountains. She leaves behind two grown children, an ailing mother, a lawyer sister, and an ex-husband with whom she's on cordial terms. Catherine rents a house just outside the village with a garden, out buildings--enough land to make her neighbors think she wants to farm. Catherine has other work in mind. She does needlework and sews "soft" furnishings enough, she hopes, to earn a living from sales to her neighbors and people in surrounding villages. Her color and theme inspirations come from the mountain views around her. Catherine very soon is involved in the lives of her neighbors, including the mysterious Patrick Castagnol. Will she be able to maintain her famous common sense with him around?

For several years I have been a blog friend with Debs Carr of Deb Carr's Daydreams . Debs writes women's fiction in the U.K. and is a member of the Romantic Novelist's Association. Every week she shares her latest reading and does reviews for many of the books she features on her blog. Rosy Thornton's a Tapestry of Love was one of the many she reviewed that I wanted to read--enough to track down on Amazon from the U.K.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First of the Month - Kentucky Derby Skies

Five months into 2011 I'm still scanning Kentucky skies, camera in hand in order to participate in a great photography meme that attracts aspiring photographers from all over. The idea is that we look at our surroundings and record the changes from month to month. The host for this meme is Jan at Murrieta 365 . Here's how it works: Jan is calling her new meme First of the Month. Here are her directions: "The goal is to capture one thing repeatedly on the first day of each month. It can be a landscape, a person, an animal, a project; whatever your focus is fine. It can be a record of where you are each first day of the month." I decided to photograph Kentucky skies.

May is a grand month to be in Kentucky because on the first Saturday in May thoroughbred racing enthusiasts from all over the world either attend or watch live broadcasts of the greatest two minutes in horse racing, the Kentucky Derby right here in Louisville. While the high point of the Derby is of course the race, we Louisvillians party for a couple of weeks leading up to the Derby. One spectacular event is the Great Balloon Race. Yesterday morning the sky was filled with hot air balloons. It looked like this:

Then on the first Saturday in May, you can see the twin spires of Churchill Downs silhouetted against a, hopefully, bright blue sky while all eyes are on their favorite horses as they make that whirlwind trip around the track. It looks like this:

I needed to hedge a bit this month with Jan's "first of the month" rules for the featured photographs, but couldn't resist showing you these two great events for Kentucky. If you're interested in the Derby--and many people are based on my blog stats--come back later in the week for some inside scoop. For example, I'll show you some photos of florists actually constructing the Blanket of Roses that adorns the winner of the Derby. It's put together at our local Kroger supermarket and people are welcome to come by and observe.

(Photo credits: Getty Images)