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I know I should not be posting now- we just got back from Troeg's, an excellent local brewery- I had a chocolate stout on nitro, and a raspberry gouge- which is a respectable afternoon sampling - but then, I had a half- pint of their amber ale, sort of a barley wine. Great, locally made, organic beers- but on an empty stomach. With my husband and a long time friend, with talk of our
Current Project-which sound like wool gathering, but is to be finalized this summer- joint ownership of land with retirement dwellings- this may even be trailers- I know, but things have changed with this girl- whatever of value I have had, I gave to my daughter/ now my needs are few and honest- land to garden, books, maybe a local place for art?
Now we speak of five acres- in South Carolina or northern Florida- dogs, breweries, acess to gyms, colleges, and a warmer climate. Oh, and, as always,books!
Monkey King

Busy Febuary

This month I didn't read a lot- maybe about 5 books, a low number for me. With planning for my upcoming trip, I've been reading guides. I like the Michelin ones best, then the Lonely Planet ones. Sometimes Rick Steves is a little too dismissive. I've been laying out a month-at-a-glance calendar to outline choices. I need the visual, visceral approach to envision it. The trip is in May, involves three countries (four for my daughter),and there have been revisions and add-ons. The trip angels have helped us, and I find we fell into some good places. It takes up a good chunk of my time, and I feel so lucky to be able to do this.

My husband's birthday was Valentine's Day. I got him this:

That, and a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting was a perfect birthday for him. We both like quiet, small birthdays.

Well, back to the world of museum passes and comfortable shoes!

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A spring day, long ago. My father, recovering from the first of many heart attacks, took some time off work to drive me and my mother up to see my Grandmother Gerrity in the Blue Mountains. I'm about 2 1/2, my father, 51.
Monkey King

Birthday and Valentine's Day!

I love a all holiday celebrations- especially in the middle of really cold weather
Gus did not like the hat he wore for Randy's birthday, but he did like the special cheese dog biscuit he got to celebrate.
Randy is 62 today, and I don't know where I'd be without him.
The adults had chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting and ice cream.
Now, back to monotony. And dieting.
Monkey King

Long ago

Many years ago, a young me spent some interesting months being a companion to Mrs. Elsie Laucks, a 92 year old woman. She was from an old family in the area, and I think my brother-in-law recommended me for the temporary position. She was a wealth of information about her family and life. I learned a lot from Elsie, and much that she said just echoed what my mother and grandmother had told me - in fact, I loved to just listen to Elsie talk about her family.
This is a photo of Elsie's mother, taken in the 1870s:

Here is another of Elsie's mother in a favorite purple dress:

Elsie liked me, and wanted me to try on the above dress- which I did. It did not hook up in the back. Elsie reminded me a lot of my own grandmother, even down to the snacks she liked- one was a concoction of a toasted marshmallow on a Ritz cracker and called a "Top Hat".

I was googling Elsie and found that her great, great, niece has a genealogy site - I was able to email her some great Elsie stories.
I have always loved the past.
Monkey King

End of Month Roundup

Here are the books I've read this month:

Bats of the Republic, an illuminated novel by Zachary Thomas Dodson
...And the Ladies of the Club, by Helen Hooven Santmeyer
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
The Half-Crown House by Helen Ashton
The Children's Book by A.S.Byatt

My favorite was ...And the Ladies of the Club. This was a re-read, and I had forgotten what a good book it is. I ordered a copy of Ohio Town: a Portrait of Xenia, Ohio by Santmeyer, which tells the history of the real town on which Ladies of Club was based.

I took a knitting class with a friend at the local library. The instructor was wonderful. I am left-handed and my mother taught me how to crochet by standing side by side in a large bathroom mirror. I never learned to knit, and I have always wanted to. I was able to knit for three hours during class, then came home and forgot everything! I did find a YouTube video which is helpful, so will be watching and working on projects. One thing I would like to do is make mittens for elementary school children. I know a woman who does this, and they are really appreciated.

Hope everyone I doing well!

Two and a half feet of snow

This weekend was a busy one- my husband and I digging out feet of snow in shifts, though the blizzard was beautiful. I made a very old apple pie recipe ( all that shoveling), stuffed chicken breasts for Randy, a stuffed spaghetti squash for me ( stuffed with mozzarella and a tomato sauce I made), along with a big omelette for breakfast. We helped some neighbors, dug out enough of our yard for Gus and Lola to run around ( still waiting for more cleanup in the area for their walks). In between it all, I read Dead Wake for book club, ...And the Ladies of the Club again , and this:

Not planning on much of a vegetable garden, but plan to do some more herbs.
Monkey King

January is moving along

I was happy to get these in the mail:

The first I saw reviewed on a blog whose owner only reads pre- 1940 British women authors. That niche is one that a lot of my reading preferences fall into.

The second book is a new one, by a very entertaining author- sort of a whodunit with a modern Jesuit trying to determine if certain medieval relics are real.

I have such a great to be read pile, but that's fine with me.
I'm looking forward to watching Sherlock Holmes on Masterpiece tonight.
Hope you are all enjoying January!
Monkey King

Some new books- or new to me bookd

I once had a huge collection of books. Downsizing, gifting, and changing interests changed this. Now, we are planning to move in perhaps a year. My new book collecting habits are influenced by all of these things ( as well as a very limited book budget, as I plan a trip to Europe this spring). So, now I buy used and paperbacks. I read and pass on, unless- and I still have my piles of books that I want to keep and re-read. I do try to find a hard cover copy of these books.
So, without further explanation, are some photos of the books I was given or bought with Christmas money:
Well, I have two more piles, but LJ is being fussy about uploading my pictures. I will try to post more later.
Hope everyone had a great New Year!
Monkey King

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Thinking back on when I lived in a little town with my daughter in middle school- how fast the time goes.
Now debating retirement villages. The folks in the brochure look too old.

Maybe this will jolt me into blogging- it's not over, dammit!
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