Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Thirteen Moons" - Charles Frazier

This book takes place in The Great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina in the 1800s. Will Cooper narrates his life story beginning when he was just an orphaned boy who was sent to run a trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation.
The story is told in the first person as if Cooper were sitting beside you reminiscing about his life. He tells of Bear, a Cherokee elder who adopted him, and how he became a white Indian chief. He recounts how he became a prosperous merchant, land owner, self taught lawyer, and state senator. He talks about Claire, the love of his life that he lost.
This book has no structure and very little plot. It tends to ramble from one thing to another, just as a person would when talking. There is no suspense, it just moves along as his life did.
You may think that this book would not be that interesting, but you would be wrong. I totally enjoyed it and was sad to see it end. The descriptions of the mountains are simply beautiful. I found the daily life of the Indians and settlers to be fascinating.
I got this book at the library, but I may purchase my own copy. It's a book I will want to read again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Treadmills and weight ...........

I have complained several times this winter about it being too cold or else too windy to go walking. My sweet Hubbie offered to buy me a treadmill, so I took him up on the offer.

We got this one from Gold's Gym at Wal Mart. It came in a huge box with lots of pieces, but really wasn't all that hard to put together. It only took us about an hour Saturday morning.

I have a small house. so it had to go in the garage. My garage does not get overly cold. I have a heater out there as well as a TV and a CD player, so I can entertain myself as I walk.

I have rheumatoid arthritis, so walking is a good joint friendly exercise for me. I feel so much better and have so much more energy when I exercise. It's also a good way to burn calories. I never thought I would want to burn calories, but I would actually like to lose 5 to 10 pounds.

I am 5' 8" tall and I weigh 140 pounds. Two years ago I weighed 100 pounds. I had been within ten pounds of that weight all my adult life. I even had clothes that I wore in high school that I could still wear at 60 years of age. I was underweight and had been underweight all my life. I remember my teachers in grade school checking my lunch tray to make sure that I had eaten. I tried to gain weight by going on 4000 calorie a day diets, by eating every fattening food I could find and nothing worked. My doctor told me that my body was at the weight it wanted to be and that I probably wouldn't be able to gain. If you're underweight and eat well, you do not get any sympathy or help from doctors. My Mom was thin, so I figured it was hereditary.

So, I finally resigned myself to having skinny arms and legs and lots of visable bones. On May 20, 2007, I quit smoking. I slowly began to gain weight, which I though was great. I was gaining about a pound a week without eating any more than usual. I finally had a butt, my legs and arms filled out, my chest filled out, my face even looked better. I actually got the figure of a girl! When I reached 140, I stopped gaining. I guess my body got to the weight it wants to be at now. I continue to eat the same as I was, but I've stopped gaining weight. My only complaint is my stomach. I would like to get rid of this belly fat. Does anyone know how to get rid of belly fat and keep the rest?

So maybe Hubbie was trying to politely tell me that I was putting on a few too many pounds when he offered to buy me a treadmill. Do you think so?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Fade Away" - Harlan Coben ..........

Myron Bolitar was a top college basketball player. He was drafted by the Celtics, but was injured in a preseason scrimmage. Since his basketball career was over, he went back to school, became a lawyer, and opened his own sports agency.

Now the owner and the general manager of the New Jersey Dragons want Bolitar to find one of their star players who is missing. The missing player - Greg Downing - has been in competition with Bolitar both on and off the court since they were in high school.

The plot is intricate and keeps you guessing up to the surprising end. The story is well developed and moves smoothly from one page to another. The witty dialogue and likable characters make for an enjoyable read.

This is one of a series of books that Coben has written about Myron Bolitar, and the second that I have read from the series. I highly recommend this book.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Maybe we can be friends ..........

Maggie May and Mazie Grace are gradually becoming more used to each other. Mazie Grace tends to ignore Maggie May, and Maggie May keeps her eye on Mazie Grace the whole time she is in the house.
We've been letting Mazie Grace in several times a day. At first we closely supervised the two cats. I did not want them to start off by fighting, because I was afraid they would never be friends if they did. I think Maggie May was afraid of Mazie Grace, she definitely did not trust her. This is the first time Maggie May has even seen another cat since she was just a tiny kitten..
We would let Mazie Grace stay inside until the hissing started, then we would put her out. So far, we have not had any fights and we are not having to supervise as closely. Each day they seem to get a little more comfortable around each other.
Hopefully one day they will become friends and will learn to play with each other. Mazie Grace is not a house cat, she does not particularly like being inside. She has not learned the rules of being inside, such as "don't jump up on tables, etc.". I guess it all will take time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boogity, boogity, boogity. Let's go racin' boys ....

The NASCAR racing season officially began this afternoon with the Daytona 500. NASCAR is the only sport that I follow. I'm not a die hard fan, but I do watch some of the races and keep up with the standings. I usually cheer for Denny Hamlin, since he is from this area and used to race not too far from here. Elliott Sadler is from Emporia, Virgnia, which is also close by. Hamlin was doing well today, until Earnhardt caused a wreck. Matt Kenseth won the race, which was called for rain with 48 laps left. Sadler came in 5th.

Years ago, my first husband helped several local people with their race cars. We kept one of the cars at our house. I used to help pull the engine and work on it - my main job was to hand tools and watch. Over time I became quite knowledgable about race car engines. We would go with the car to races and stay in the pit area. Since then, I have had an interest in car racing and in cars.

My current hubbie has two classic cars that he has bought and restored - a 1968 Road Runner and a 1969 GTX. They are his babies and he has spent a ton of money on them. I will post pictures of them later. They have been in the garage most of the winter, but as the weather gets better, he will have them out cruising the road on weekends.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day! ......

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. We had another pretty day here in Virginia - sunny and warm. Unfortunately, winter is suppose to make a return next week. I have really enjoyed our taste of spring. I actually began some spring cleaning and I've been thinking about garden plans.

The tulips above were my Valentine gift to myself. I just couldn't resist them when I saw them in Wal Mart. H and I went out to eat today - his Valentine gift to me. We rarely eat out, except for breakfast, so this was a real treat. Breakfast is his favorite meal, so whenever we need to go somewhere on the weekend, we leave early and stop to eat breakfast. He orders a big meal, and I usually end up ordering a sausage biscuit. I do not like traditional breakfast food - I prefer fruit and cottage cheese or a yogurt.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

14 Kids ...........

I'm sure most of you have heard of Nadya Suleman, the single mother of six who just gave birth to octuplets. She lives with her parents in a three bedroom house and has no job. She claims she wants to go to school to get a degree so she can support her fourteen kids. Is she kidding? There is no way she can care for and support these children on her own. She expects others to provide her with housing, food, clothing, child care, medical care, and support.

She is obviously a very self centered woman who is out of touch with reality. She spent thousands of dollars on IVF while receiving public assistance for the children she already had. I believe she is not responsible or stable enough to raise these children. They should be taken from her and put up for adoption. These babies deserve good homes with parents that will provide them with love, attention, and support.

Ms. Suleman's plea for help with her family of fourteen offends me. We are expected to reward her thoughtless behavior and carry the load. Why should responsible, hard working individuals be expected to support children that were ill conceived and planned for? Enough!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My baby girls ........

Maggie May --

Mazie Grace --

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Dark Summer" by Iris Johansen .....

I have read several books by Iris Johansen, and have enjoyed them. However, I was disappointed in this book. I could not get into the story and had to literally force myself to read the book at times.

The story revolves around Devon Brady, a veterinarian, and Jude Marrok, a former Navy seal. Marrok is protecting several dogs with supernatural powers.

The suspense would build, then the story would go to the attraction between Devon and Jude. By the time you got back to the plot, the suspense had been broken and the story would go off in another direction.

I'm not a fan of romance novels and this seemed to be more of a romance novel than a suspence novel. Some people may enjoy it, it was just not for me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More mole hunting ........

We are having a beautiful weekend here in Virginia - the temperature was near 70 today and it's suppose to be a little warmer tomorrow. We actually got to open the windows this afternoon and let in the fresh breeze.

Mazie Grace had an exciting day. She caught another mole and brought it into the garage. I confiscated it and disposed of it (it was deceased). She was terribly upset and wanted her mole back. She searched the garage for about fifteen minutes, then gave up and went back outside. About two hours later she came back with another one that she proceeded to torture and kill. That makes a total of three moles that she has caught.

I'm not in favor of killing any living thing. I usually trap unwanted guests such as mice and snakes and take them away from the house and set them free. However, the mole problem has been getting worse for the last several years. I have been unable to trap them and they have multipled to the point where my whole two acres of yard is a mass of tunnels and holes. So, I will allow Mother Nature to apply her type of population control - one species hunting another - and I won't intervene. I'll just pick up and dispose of the remains.

If anyone wondered where I got the name for this blog, it's from a song by The Robbin Thompson Band. You can listen to it on the side bar.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It didn't last ......

The pictures below were taken this morning after breakfast. The picture above was taken about four hous later. As you can see, our snow did not last long. It was pretty while it was here.

Looking at Winter ........

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thinking about Spring ......

Today has been a gorgeous day here in Southside Virginia. The sun was shining and the thermometer got up to 65 on my back deck. I walked around the yard and noticed that the trees were budding out. My roses had fresh young leaves, and the azaleas were beginning to form buds. Spring can't be too far away.

My groundhog did not venture out today, if he had, he would have seen his shadow. We still have more winter to get through. In fact, the weather report is calling for a few possible snow flurries tomorrow.

Thank goodness for days like today - makes it a bit easier to put up with those cold, wet days.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Run" by Ann Patchett .........

This book is about family and the many surprising ways that families intersect with each other. It deals with big issues such as religion, race, class, and politics.

The story centers around Doyle, a former mayor of Boston and his children - Sullivan his biological son, and Tip and Teddy his African American adopted sons.

One evening Tip is saved from being struck by a car by an African American woman named Tennessee Alice Moser. He suffers minor injury, but she is hurt more seriously. The woman is taken to the hospital and her daughter Kenya is left in the company of the Doyles.

Relationships begin to emerge and secrets are disclosed.

I thought this was a well written book. It held my interest and by the end I felt as though I knew and understood the characters.

The Huntress ......

Mazie Grace was feeling better yesterday, so I finally let her go outside. She was the image of pure joy. She ran from one end of the yard to the other, to the top of the sweet gum tree and back down, into the garage to meow at me, then back outside again. After about two hours, I had to put her back in the garage - I was afraid she would over-do it.

This morning, I let her out after breakfast. I had the back door open enough so she could come and go as she pleased. This afternoon I went to the garage to get something, and there was Mazie Grace with a mole. She was so excited and proud of her gift to me. She was batting the poor creature around on the floor and tossing it in the air. I went back later to get it to dispose of it and it had disappeared. I hope she took it back outside rather than losing it somewhere in my garage.

My yard is full of moles. They have tunnels everywhere, making it difficult to walk in some places. So if Mazie Grace wants to entertain herself by catching them, I won't stop her.

She is quite the huntress!