31 March 2010

Weekly Book Review Wednesday.....

I recently read the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series - Lightning Thief.  The movie recently came out, and it is my custom to always read the book, prior to viewing the movie.

Before I began reading this book, I anticipated suspense and excitement that I was certain was to come along with this adventure.  However, I found it difficult, initially, to get into this book. I fear that JK Rowling has made it difficult not to compare all other young adult magic/fantasy books to Harry Potter. Even some of the terminology is the same as that in the Harry Potter series (i.e. Half-blood)

I did get past the initial similarities and  became very involved in this fabulous story.  Rick Riordan intermingles the Modern day with the Ancient Greek Gods. Evidently, they now live in America and subject us to their various whims.

Percy is a fine and unsuspecting hero who 'accidentally' saves the day many times.  I look forward to reading about his further quests.  All-in-all, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, 5 being best, I would give this book 3.5 stars.

26 March 2010

Flashback Friday

The day of the week where we take it back..... Sometimes waaaay back.

This week, I am blessing you with a special treat. Cher is one of my favorite performers. Enjoy.....

23 March 2010

Weekly Book Review Wednesday.....

Arcadia FallsArcadia Falls
I received a copy of the book Arcadia Falls by the author Carol Goodman, just a few short days ago. I had read Ms. Goodman's first novel, The Sea of Dead Languages, and enjoyed that, so I was anxious to dive into this story.

Arcadia Falls takes place in a mountain refuge where a historic artist commune had been located. This commune had been a space for women, primarily, to nurture their talents. Later the commune became a girls' school that was shrouded in intrigue and tragedy.

The recently widowed Meg Rosenthal, and her teenage daughter Sally, move to the school so Meg can teach and Sally attend. The stage is set with the death of a student in their first days at the academy. This begins the unraveling of an intricately woven mystery.

The book immediately reeled me in, as I forsook sleep to read much of the first half. Goodman's prose flow quite freely, making the novel a relaxed and comfortable read. In the beginning (about the first 30 pages), I did struggle with the main character. Her very obvious weaknesses and the artificial dialogue between her and her daughter troubled me. However, as the book progresses, this ceases to be an issue.

Goodman has told a surprisingly complex tale, and though it bears similarity to her first novel, it is obvious that her writing has grown considerably. She completes the package with a nice, tidy ending. I would have been a bit happier if it reflected life more accurately by leaving a loose end or two. All in all, however, I truly recommend this book.

17 March 2010

Lady Green Finger

I am a small town girl, stuck in the city due to the necessity of my chosen situation. Or, as my dear friend Molly phrases it, I am an "affected provincial."

City-bound though I may be, I still desire to raise my children in such a fashion as they will experience things I benefited from in my own childhood. Not that it is Spring, my desires of this realm turn toward gardening.

As a wee little lass, gardening was terribly important to my family's well being, and so we had a good bit of land set aside for this purpose. The largest plot was the "family garden," where we planted our year-long, staple foods. They regularly crossed our table, fresh or canned, as dictated the season.

The smaller patches/plots belonged to me and my sister. In these spaces we were allowed to plant and care for the foods we most desired to eat during the year, and none of the food that we did not. We were solely responsible for planting, weeding, etc. And, once they had blossomed and ripened, we would pick the best ones and enter then in the fair, where we often won ribbons.

Two other sizable plots we used to plant strawberries and raspberries. The yield was far more than our family needs, and so my sister and I would gather and sell the excess for the money to purchase our school clothes each year.

These treasured experiences I cannot quite duplicate for my children; we simply don't have the land. However, as we prepare our backyard to become a garden, I will include them in each step. This is Spring Break week, here in Texas. By the end of this week long holiday, I plan to have all the seeds in the ground, with their help. I will keep a photo journal of our work and progress......