Tuesday, February 1, 2011

XLIV - February 2011

I cut some unpromising looking forsythia branches just before our last January snow and brought them inside in hopes of coaxing them  into bloom.

The snow was beautiful, as it always is -- at first. 

 Those snowy days were great for reading though.  One favorite was Mountain Born by Jean Boone Benfield, the subject of a blog post a while back.  I couldn't resist sharing some of the great old sayings -- many of which I've heard my neighbors use.

Then Stephanie, one of my readers, sent me a wonderful list that the doctor who is her boss has collected over the years. I posted some of them here but here are a few more:

"Pin stroke" -- mini stroke.  "'Mama had been having these pin strokes right along and then the big one got her."'

"Belly washer" -- soft drink (soda, pop.)  "He bought him a big old belly washer and a Moon Pie."

"Biggety" -- stuck up or acting big.  "She's  acting awful biggety ever since she got that raise."

"Gommin' and piddlin'"-- loafing. "He hadn't done a lick of work -- just gommin' and piddlin' all the day long."

"Ill as a red-tailed wasp" -- extremely irritable.  "She's ill as a red-tailed wasp ever since her divorce."

"Swimmie-headed" -- dizzy.  "Law, that white liquor made me swimmie-headed!"

Do any of you have some good ones?
At last! My year of reading mysteries as a member of the committee to select the best mystery of the year is over!  It was fun but frustrating as I signed a pledge not to review or talk about any of the five hundred plus books I dipped into during the past year. I've packed up most of the books to give to our local library and now I have a bit of time to read whatever I like. And recommend it, if I liked it!

(The Edgar Nominees are here, if you're interested.  I am allowed to say that I thought they were all very, very good.)
Recent Reads -- Mine and Yours
Beeing by Roseann Daryl Thomas is a charming memoir of "Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honeybees." Beautiful writing that had me thinking about becoming a beekeeper.

Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman kept me turning pages, even as I found myself disliking many of the characters. I found the ending unsettling in spite of its inevitability.

Patchwork Planet by Ann Tyler.  What a good writer she is! This book isn't as good as some of her others, in my opinion, but it's still well worth reading.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson. I kind of feel like I may have been the last person in the known universe to have read these. Quite compelling reading, that's for sure.  I really liked the kick ass Salander.  And, yes, I read the third one but it's one of those books I can't discuss. And no, I haven't seen the movie.

India Black  by Carol K. Carr is a fun read that I talked about over on my daily blog.

The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal is a fascinating memoir about a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna before,WWII and the impact of the Nazi regime on the various member. Follow the link to my blog post.

Deana the Queena has just finished In the Wood, The God of Animals, and The Secret River.

Pat M. says " I'm reading Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand which I am enjoying for the WWII history & B-24’s giving me more insight about my dad."

Aleen S. writes: "Just started Vergehse's Cutting for Stone, (I was hooked after the first couple lines,) and find it helpful to read it with an Atlas by my side. So much about the geography of India-Africa I don't know, actually have never been challenged to think about it, other than mountains here and rivers there, savannas and desserts in the middle and the coast line run around." 

I'm watching the amaryllis in  our bedroom stretching taller in the morning sun.

And I'm keeping an eye on the  lone domestic goose amongst the flock of Canada geese down by the river. Previously it seemed to be paired up with one of the wild ones but on this day I wasn't so sure.
At the end of January, we had several balmy days, warm enough to melt most of the snow and to entice me out to do a little winter cleanup in the flower beds.  What bliss!

And after a few sunny days, the forsythia on the dining table bloomed.
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Witch of Stitches said...

I just picked up a copy of India Black this afternoon - both you and someone else, can't remember who, mentioned it and I thought it looked interesting. Also picked up copies of Gaskell's Wives & Daughters and Cranford for my Gaskell challenge - all of this after picking up several books at the library! Of course, as always, there is a pile of books next to my chair waiting to be read.

weather said...

Here is the weather forecast from GFS,

snow rain maps

Kath said...

The forsythia is lovely.
Tell us how things go for the goose among the Canada Geese.
Thank you for the recommended reading!

but for now I'll cozy up with one of yours.

Anonymous said...

Vicki, I thought you latest book, "The Day of Small Things," was your best yet. The characters were well-drawn, the local locale (for me) always fun to picture in my head, the ending quite a surprise, but still relevant to the story, not at all jerry-rigged.

This morning I finished "Dogs," by Abigail Dewitt, also a local writer, whose prose is like a polished gem. You can read about it on Amazon if you'd like a more complete explanation of the story. I'll just say that my tears continued to flow after I closed the last page, partly because it was sad, partly because the story was so easy to relate to, and partly because it was told so beautifully.

Deana the Queena