History Friday, Oct 31 2008 

It was good old Winston Churchill who said:

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

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He was a truly inspirational figure in his time.  I liked him even more when I found out he painted in his spare time.

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Don’t you love the hand-less cigar? Here’s one of his paintings:

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And another, more British style:

https://i2.wp.com/www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00640/news-graphics-2007-_640349a.jpg

Here’s young Winston before he achieved what Auntie M calls his ‘basset hound’ look:

https://i0.wp.com/www.pinetreeweb.com/winston-1896.jpg

Handsome devil, isn’t he?

My favorite saying of his is:

NEVER NEVER NEVER give up!

As we near our national election, let’s hope some of the altruism and strength Winnie brought to his nation in a time of war will come to ours in a time of uncertainty.

Whomever you favor, get out Tuesday and VOTE!  It’s your hard-won American privilege~

Thanks to Google Images.

Bones Wednesday, Oct 29 2008 

Those of you who read Auntie M know she is a mystery lover, and  forensic shows and novels are right up there with some of the ones I read and watch continuously.  As a retired nurse and current mystery writer, I’m fascinated with the human body and it’s awesome workings, and how I can twist them to suit me in my devilish plots.

https://i1.wp.com/www.archives.gov/exhibits/powers_of_persuasion/hes_watching_you/images_html/images/wanted_for_murder.jpg

I’m a big fan of the show “Bones” (and who wouldn’t be with David Boreanaz?  That’s one fine dude).

https://i2.wp.com/www.watchingbones.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/david-boreanaz-picture-1.jpg

Based loosely on the books of real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, Temperance Brennan in the show is in her early 30’s, which lend itself to a ton more fun things to happen to her and her FBI partner, pictured above.  Riechs checks out each script and carries a producing credit on the show.

In Reichs’ novels, Tempe is older, divorced with a college-aged daughter, and not necessarily wiser.  The forensics and plotting, however, are far more readable to me than those of Patricia Cornwell. In real-life, Reich is one of a small number of boarded forensic patholgists practicing, and her jobs revolve around UNC Charlotte and its related department in the province of Quebec.  The novels reflect this cross-nation position and several are set in Quebec, adding interest and an infusion of French.

Reichs has a way with snappy dialogue, and infuses her awful situations with humor and her character’s personal lives, so it’s not all digging up bodies and identifying bones.  And her Brennan has human reactions and failings that smack of realism.

Her newest is a case in point: Devil Bones tells you everything you wanted to know and more about syncretic religions such as Santeria, voodoo and brujeria, as the pathologist tries to figure out the symbolism behind r recovered bones in, well, let’s just say, very suspicious circumstances.  Wicca comes into play, and we learn of that beliefs foundation, too.

https://i0.wp.com/www.thehouseofoojah.com/audiobooks/media/ccp0/prodlg/DevilsBonesBook.jpg

Nothing quite turns out to be the way it initially seems, and yes, the bodies stack up along the way, some in surprising areas.  The twists and turns make this one a quick, and recommended, read.

Sisters Sunday, Oct 26 2008 

Auntie M’s younger sister  and only sibling turns fifty today.  Yes (BIG SIGH), the big 5-0, which means to those of you out there astute enough to figure it out, that I’ve been there, done that already.

It doesn’t seem so long ago I was holding her hand and walking her to Sunday School in Floral Park, Long Island, where we grew up.  Our early childhood was idyllic.  The area was cloistered and safe, a suburb of the big city a half hour away by train.  All of the streets were named for trees and flowers, the brainchild of John Lewis Childs, a premier garden supplier of the time who subsequently had a school named after him.

Her hand seemed so small in mine.  I remember the cracked sidewalk on the corner outside Allen Leslie’s house, where we stopped to wait for a passing car on Walnut Avenue.  I told her: “One day your hand will be bigger than mine.”

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We both giggled, because certainly that could never happen.

Happy Birthday, Little Sister~

Saturday’s All Right with Me Saturday, Oct 25 2008 

Auntie M and Doc are having a quiet Saturday at home.  We’ve been on the road a bit lately last week for appointments and have another one Monday, so having a day with no place to be at an appointed hour is very nice.  It helps that it’s very cool and raining on and off with high winds, the kind of day that makes you want to snuggle inside.

Auntie M got up and make a nice 3-layer spice cake to take to her Mom’s church tomorrow.  The Bishop is coming and lunch will follow and somehow in a weak moment a few weeks ago I said I would help her serve at the luncheon to follow.  The cake has canned coconut-pecan icing in the layers on the top; the sides are frosted with cream cheese icing and I piped some shells around the bottom and where the two icings meet.  It looks nice and Mom (and the Bishop, who loves sweets, I hear) will be pleased.

Wash in the dryer, dishes done, paperwork for today accomplished, and as soon as I send this off I will be settling down on the couch to watch an ice skating special (one of my favorite sports) for breast cancer awareness.  Our Upstate NY d-in-law just had her 5 yr anniversary cancer free and we are very grateful.  We sent her flowers to honor her journey–finding out she had breast cancer at 33 when she was planning her wedding to our Middle Son would have floored most people.  This gal went through 6 months of chemo, a mastectomy with several reconstructive surgeries, complete hair loss and all of the accompanying side effects–and still wore the strapless dress she wanted to at their wedding the next year, with her just-grown-in hair.  She’s our hero.  Or heroine.  Whatever.

After the ice skating, a few pages of the book I’m reading, Still Waters by Nigel McCrery.

https://i1.wp.com/www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n45/n227711.jpg

Although my cover is different, the innards are the same, a neat detective who has the unusual problem ofsynaesthesia, which means sounds cause him to taste things.  This ranges from good things to bad; the collective noise of his squad room, for instance, gives him the metallic taste of blood.  The sound of his twin boys playing tastes like vanilla.  It’s an unusual quirk in an interesting start of a new series by this author, who has written in the UK for years.   Check him out.

And enjoy your own Saturday~

Ode to Doc, the Keeper of All Time Wednesday, Oct 22 2008 

Doc you are the man I love,

Sent to me from gods above.

Your loving kindness knows no bounds,

You are the dearest man I’ve found.

You have surprised me yet again

I love you ten times ten times ten;

A rhyming poet I am not~

But I know what a good man I’ve got.

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I’m not sure I can get these photo’s of Doc to upload but I’ll give them a try.  He’s usually the one behind the camera; but here he’s on our dock in his old clothes feeding his crab pots before we feast on them.

What you can’t see is his full head of beautiful thick white hair that he’s had since his 30’s.  What you can’t see are his warm brown eyes and loving demeanor.  Or the way he loves to windowshop and will bring me things to try on in the dressing room.

Yes, there is the bit of him that thinks he’s knows it all, comes with the territory of being a surgeon who was willing to cut into people, remodel their bodies, and fix them up when they went through windshields.  He doesn’t mean to sound arrogant at times; he’s just very confidant, certain he knows best. . . .to my chagrin, and our three sons, he’s usually right.

But the overwhelming aspect of this man’s personality is his generosity, and being the frequent recipient of that trait, I am moved to write this today.  Cases in point:

My birthday last week was chronicled already with our day out, new NYC clothes, a lovely fleur-dy-lys necklace (our special symbol).  Then a week later a ‘special’ package came in the mail.  Much mystery surrounding said package, which Auntie M was not allowed near.  That night, a small gift box on my chest.  Inside: A lovely ring he designed for my right hand, an oval sapphire with two oval emeralds, tiny diamonds draping down the shank which is carved in the vintage manner I favor.

To say I was shocked would be an understatment.  What y’all don’t know is that 14 years ago when our house burned down, I lost a similar ring, the ring Doc gave me when he asked me to live with him.

I’m overwhelmed with how good he is to me.  And then it gets better.

Remember the piano recital, how moved and invigorated I was?  And how my old upright was loaned out and I was determined to get it back?  This is the piano I’ve had since 3rd grade, way too many a good few years ago.  The soundboard doesn’t hold a tuning.  The people I loaned it to have not been helpful in getting it back; I’ve learned they let their child use magic marker to put the letters on the keys…that’s what you get for loaning.  I haven’t said much, but I was diasppointed.  A stack of new music I’d bought in preparation had been put aside.  The piano is still at their home, not ours.  I pushed it to the back of my mind.  In the weight of our friends with cancer, the economy, health issues, etc, this is not an urgent matter.

Yesterday in Sam’s Club, I headed to food, Doc to get light bulbs.  When we met up, he had a huge box in his cart, and said “Merry Christmas.”  A Yamaha keyboard, compact and lovely, plays in the voice of all kinds of instruments from violin to trumpet to harp and then some.  Has a lovely plain ol’ piano tone.  Is now set  up in our living room, the new music up on the rack, the book on how to use it’s many functions for this technophobe half read and digested.

The first piece I played last night for him was the theme from M*A*S*H–remember our dog is named Radar?  the second was a piece I’ve always wanted to play, Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire.”

This is the huge generosity of this man.  This is why this man is one to keep and hold onto and never get let go of.  This is the man I adore and who I love waking up next to every day.

Do I know how lucky I am?

You betcha!!!

Referrals Saturday, Oct 18 2008 

Auntie M has spent the last days at the oncologist with her best friend who, unfortunately, has dire need of those services and who is experiencing terrible neurological side effects of a medicine designed to stave off her nausea.  I’m close to asking the onc if Caro can have a joint.

Tonight I’m all for getting lost in cheesy television, even my book won’t do until later when I clear my head and can concentrate.  So after I sign off I’m gearing up to watch “Numb3rs” with Doc, one of his faves.  That numerical stuff always amuses me, the mathphobe, whether it would work in reality or not.  Hated math in school.  Never failed, but hated it. Give me words or reading or writing anytime.

https://i2.wp.com/www.the-adam.com/adam/numb3rs/numbers_main2.jpg

I’ve come to enjoy this one because it has these convoluted math approaches that always help to get the bad guys, plus it’s got Dr. Joel from “Northern Exposure” one of my all-time faves.  And I don’t have to do any kind of computations, equations, or algorithems.

Running at the same time, which means I’ve DVR’ed it to watch after, is a newer one called “Life.”

https://i2.wp.com/www.tvcrazy.net/tvclassics/wallpaper/pages/images/life_wallpaper_2.jpg

Damian Lewis isn’t my idea of a handsome leading man, yet his quirkiness and the humor in the show take me out of what I’ve been doing and will give me some much-needed respite.  I totally do NOT buy Adam Arkin as old enough to be his father, but maybe that’s because I remember HIM from “Northern Exposure” and it seems they are too close in age to be father and son.  Plus, they don’t resemble each other at all.

But still–it will take me away and for 44 minutes give me something else to ponder, a good thing.

Now if you’re looking for something CUTE to ponder, head over to the Etsy site and check out Etsy Love by our own Jen on the Edge.  I just got my first order in the mail and sent some adorable ponytailers out to my two grand daughters.  AND the pin I ordered for moi was larger than the snap showed and oh-so-much cuter!  I’m definitely shopping there for more of those for neat Christmas presents.  Will look so cute on my winter coat.

AND don’t forget Gert at The World According to Gert is gearing up for her big cancer walkathon with friends; details on her site.

What delightful, talented women I’ve met~

Stuff Tuesday, Oct 14 2008 

Auntie M has been noticeably absent, sorry about that.

The birthday trip was fun, no movie but some nice retail therapy, including nice lined pants and silk shirt for the Screw Iowa presentation in the Big Apple November 6th; sampling several couches, and a great Indian dinner out.

Picking up Radar and Murray on the way home the next day is another story.  Seems there was this cement parking bump/curb that blended right in with the cement driveway, dumb idea for sure, who would see that?  I sure didn’t . . . .

Flash! Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: Auntie M executing her newest Peggy Fleming manuveur!

https://i0.wp.com/balletbookstore.com/ballerina/pic/terek01.jpgNOT quite like this~

Watch as she smoothly sends her Birkies flying in opposite directions as she takes off in flight.

https://i2.wp.com/i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff170/kimberlyjohnson80/falling.jpg

Marvel at the neat sound her mostly-artificial knees make when they hit cement. 

Cheer for the major “OOF” that issues forth when her tummy follows and she ends up sprawled flat out on the driveway.

https://i1.wp.com/www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/01/21/legs.gif

Giggle as she picks herself up, assuring the startled kennel owner that she is fine, absolutely fine, despite her red face, bleeding palms, and probable skinned knees. 

Gasp at the sight of her, (getting back in her car with dogs in tow, and finally summoning up the courage to raise her pants legs), when she sees the large raised EGG on her left knee, the horrid bruising starting on her right, the black and blue palm.

Smile at her ingenuity, as she presses her iced coffee against said eggy bump for the hour ride home.

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Wince along with her as she manuveurs her now-stiff legs out of the truck, hobbles after the dogs, and drags the packages up 21 steps into her house on stilts.

Nod with approval as she gulps down one two Darvocets and one two Ultrams before feeding said dogs and crawling onto the couch with ice bags on both knees.

https://www.physique.co.uk/large_catalogue_images/icelogo.jpg

Somehow the dogs were taken care of, the closet got cleaned out, the Mother got her day alone with Auntie M including sitting through Beverly Hills Dog movie, (predicatble but the dogs were cute) the food for Weds Paramedic son’s Anniversary dinner got sorted/defrosted/prepped/baked,  all while the knees blossomed in technicolor, the wrenched back and arm muscles made themselves known, and the medicine cabinet was visited frequently.

And you thought I was just goofing off~

Birght Light, Big City Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

Auntie M and Doc are leaving early tomorrow morning to head towards the Triangle area in NC, near the airport where Doc will fly out early Thurs AM (to MN for a long weekend).  The guys at the Days Inn there know us and give us the same King room most times.

We’ll kennel the dogs overnight and spend the day checking out various things in the Big City.  It also happens to be my birthday, so we’re planning a nice dinner out and an even nicer evening after.  On our list are:

Checking out leather couches: We are starting to do our research as this will be a purchase not made lightly and one we want to last.  We’re narrowing down styles, colors, etc. while we build the Couch Fund.

A Barnes & Noble stop: Must have, whenever we are near one.  The closest one to us is 1 1/2 hrs away, so when we are near a B&N or a Borders, we stop.  I want to get the new James Taylor CD, too.

Boots: I am in the market for a pair of short, chocolate brown, size 8 wide, very soft leather boots.  Not too picky, am I?

A movie: Ditto our time to get to a theatre, although there’s a small one only an hour away . . . which is why we don’t go often.  But we plan to try to get to one tomorrow.  And we only have this one chance for quite a while, so I’m looking for a GREAT movie to see, worth the time and money and maybe with a few laughs along the way.

Any suggestions out there???

Buddy Blurb #3: SHOES Monday, Oct 6 2008 

Auntie M is facing one of those chores that come at us in life and we just have to deal with them.  Doc is leaving Weds for a few days in MN with the Grands and a big lacrosse tournament (Eldest Son coaches U of Duluth LAX) and my Big Job is cleaning out our bedroom closet.

This usually gives me tremendous satisfaction, looking into corners, finding that skirt that’s slipped  off the hanger and lying behind a row of shirts, getting those things I haven’t worn in three years ready to ship to the Women’s Shelter.  I’ll put away the truly thin and summery stuff in our blanket chest and haul out the warmer gear.  All of this will give me a great sense of order and satisfaction when it’s done.  And because Doc will be away, I plan to do this at my leisure, piles spread out on the bed, probably naked as I try on and make decisions.  Fun, right?

But part of that involves going through my shoes.  Now one thing you don’t know about Auntie M is that she USED to be the Shoe Hoarder Collector of All Time, and I still have a tendency to be that way.  I love shoes, all kinds of shoes, the cutest flats, the snappy heels, the softest boots.  I bought shoes when we traveled the way other people bought postcards.  It took me YEARS to throw out a pair of the (cutest) white leather flats that had been resoled twice and were totally worn out because Doc had bought them for me on a trip to Paris.

https://i0.wp.com/fashiontribes.typepad.com/main/images/marc_by_marc_b_w_ballet.jpg

Confession: I still have my white nurses Clinic oxfords in a box, although I haven’t worn a uniform, scrubs or even a lab coat since 1999.

https://i2.wp.com/www.amegamall.com/pert411a.jpg

Yup, this is them, in all their school-marmy glory.  After trying many kinds of nursing shoes, trendy and otherwise, I kept coming back to these because nothing felt as good when you were on your feet for hours and hours.  Maybe I’ll use them as part of a Hallowe’en costume, ya think?  Can’t ditch those, right?  They’re classics.

And then there are the ones that just match a specific special dress, also in boxes on the upper shelves.

https://i1.wp.com/z.about.com/d/shoes/1/0/W/985-101607-d.jpg

Of course, the fact that I probably don’t fit into those dresses doesn’t come into play here, right?  I mean I just might need them at some point, and they’re just so darn cute!

You can see my dilemna, when the goal is supposed to be cleaning out and clearing up.  And then throw in foot surgery, two knee replacements, and arthritis, and I’ve decidedly changed my shoe buying habits.  While I’m still attracted to the sweetest ones,  I no longer will wear anything that’s not comfortable.  Or wide enough.  Or that rub in the wrong places.

My shelves went from NY buys like Dior and Jordan to Keens and Birkenstocks.  My pumps, in delectable colors with carved heels here and there, are now . . . . kitten heels, when I wear them, which is almost never.

https://i1.wp.com/www.mandarinatrading.com/ProdImages/117_m.jpg

The ones I ACUTALLY wear every day tend to look more like these:

https://i1.wp.com/cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/2/0/0/100/a/AAAAApkC9LsAAAAAAQCrKw.jpg

See those toe cushions that keep my sensitive toes from getting bumped?  Or these:

https://i1.wp.com/di1.shopping.com/images/pi/e9/4e/fb/31145904-177x150-0-0.jpg

And I confess also that at home when I’m just lounging, I tend to go either barefoot or in a pair of warm, chenille socks that keep my feet toasty:

https://i2.wp.com/images.buzzillions.com/images_products/05/18/womens_kn_karen_neuburger_heathered_reviews_790058_300.jpg

Oh, how the mighty have fallen~

The Likeness Sunday, Oct 5 2008 

Rarely does Auntie M recommend a book before she’s finished reading it.  However, I am only on page 63 of Tana French’s new novel, The Likeness, and I already know it’s going to be humdinger.

French’s first book, In the Woods, won the Edgar for Best First Novel last year and was a stunner.

https://i0.wp.com/www.tanafrench.com/images/coverbig.jpg

The author is a waif of a classically trained actress who’s lived internationally.  It must be her acting experience that allows her to write so that we get into the head of her character so well.  The book’s protagonist is  Irish Detective Cassie Maddox, who went from Undercover to the Murder Squad in the first book.  THAT book’s action was enough to stifle her so that when this one opens, Maddox is wearing a nice new suit and doing Domestic Violence, tame after her last outing.

She thinks she’s settled, dating another detective for a few months, vanquishing the ghosts of her past, until a very startling event occurs, and this is one wild premise for a novel: She gets a call to look at the body of a young woman who is more than vaguely familiar to her.  In fact, she looks remarkably like . . . . Cassie herself, stunningly so.

To make matters worse, there is another, deeper link between the two women, and well, I’d better not say anymore or I’ll give the plot away and really, this one will keep you turning page after page.

After the strength of her debut novel, I was anticipating French’s followup, hoping she’d keep Maddox’s character going.  The prose tilts on its Irish setting, but not obnoxiously so, and is told in first person, so Cassie’s in your head from page one, her original voice and mannerisms making her a standout character.

As soon as I’ve published this, it’s me for the couch, the heating pad, a cup of tea and this book:

https://i1.wp.com/www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n49/n245180.jpg

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Mysteries with a New England Accent

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Author and reviewer of period crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

BOOK SHELF

"Tell me and I forget-Show me and I remember-Involve me and I learn"

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

forensics4fiction

Forensics demystified for the fiction writer

milliewonka

Just another WordPress.com site

Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!

Saving the planet one day at a time.

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp a perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Make

make Your House a home

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

Wicked Cozy Authors

Mysteries with a New England Accent

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Author and reviewer of period crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

BOOK SHELF

"Tell me and I forget-Show me and I remember-Involve me and I learn"

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

forensics4fiction

Forensics demystified for the fiction writer

milliewonka

Just another WordPress.com site

Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!

Saving the planet one day at a time.