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May 2009

First Bloom

I knew my Midas Touch rose was getting ready to bloom again - for the past few weeks I've noticed it was covered with buds of every size! When I got home this evening (after a wonderful and much needed chiropractic adjustment and a wonderful and much needed haircut) I found it had finally poppped out:


It's so beautiful! I'm so happy with the choice of a yellow rose for the front of the house, and I'm even happier to see that it's not only survived but thrived!



Teaser Tuesday: Powers


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:  

  1. Grab your current read

  2. Open to a random page

  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I just started Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin on the bus this morning, so I'm not too far in. I don't want to come across any spoilers myself, so my teasers are from Page 4:


But there's the other kind of remembering, or seeing, or whatever it is, like when I remembered seeing the Father come home from Pagadi, and his horse was lame; only he hadn't come home yet and didn't until next summer, and then he came just as I remembered, on the lame horse. And once I remembered all the streets of the city turning white, and the roofs turning white, and the air full of tiny white birds all whirling and flying downward.

Monday Musings

Another new book meme I discovered through Should be Reading. This one hosted by Rebecca.  This week’s question asks:


Coming towards the end of April, we’re a third of the way through the year. What’s the favourite book you’ve read so far in 2009? What about your least favourite?


Thus far in 2009 I’ve read nine books; eight I’ve finished, one I need to finish, but might not, and one I will finish today. Out of these nine books, my favourite book so far has been … umm ... Wow, this is actually hard! I’ve read several really good books so far this year (four out of the nine I’ve given four stars), so I guess I’ll just have to flip a coin or draw a straw, and say: My favourite book so far in 2009 is …


Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin


Voices is the second book in the Annals of the Western Shore series, and I’m really enjoying this series. (For anyone interested the first book is called Gifts and the third book is called Powers and I’m getting ready to read it as soon as I’m done with Metallic Love by Tanith Lee, which I have enjoyed, but not as much as The Silver Metal Lover.)


My least favourite was The Haunting of Cambria by Richard Taylor, only because of the too-male-chauvinist-for-my-taste voice the narrator uses and the fact that it occasionally lacked … something …I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly what that “something” is, but I know it when I read it. Y’know? I did think the story had a very clever twist at the end, that I thought was kinda cool.

National Poetry Month & Earth Day


We Got

We got filthy air and air is all.
We got rotten rivers and water is air.
We got strangled streets and beer can highways,
crowded rooms and fume-filled flyways.
We got crap on our minds.

We got commercial this and billboard that,
neon thin and neon fat.
Yeah, we got beauty but it’s all in books,
or on some screen or where no one looks,
because it’s too far out of town.

Now, what are we gonna do?
The sky is blue but you have to look
straight up to see it.
And air is all,
all we got.

August 1969

This poem was written by one of my all-time favourite actors, Pete Duel. As well as a great actor (and poet), Pete was also an environmentalist who was deeply concerned about the planet and what was happening to it. I sometimes wonder how much he could have accomplished if he had lived. How much farther along would we be in our conservation efforts, our development and use of alternative fuel/energy sources or even our general awareness of our daily activities and choices on the planet? I guess we'll never know.

P.S. The photo is mine. I snapped it on the way into work this morning. Happy Earth Day!

Tilt Shift Photography

Months ago I came across this awesome photo effect: faux miniaturization! It makes a regular photo look like a miniature scene - so cool! Naturally I wanted to try it, but all the instructions were too complicated (For me, anyway. I'm sure it's a piece of cake for other photographers!) and required a lot of experience with/knowledge of PhotoShop, which I don't have. Then, I came across this awesome and easy-to-use tilt shift maker and played around with a few of my pictures. I really love the effect:





Ten Things That Make Me Smile

A listy post inspired by Kim’s post. I thought it would make a good Friday Love List, too!

  1. a good night’s sleep
  2. petting soft, purring kitties
  3. pretty flowers – wild or domestic
  4. the smell of the air after it rains
  5. the sound of joyful children playing
  6. making it through a grueling workout
  7. a day at the beach
  8. taking a really awesome picture
  9. a nice, relaxing spa pedicure
  10. watching the birds in my back yard

Tax Day


Tax Day. Those two seemingly innocent words have inspired fear and anger in the hearts of the American public for eons. Or maybe it's just me. Actually, April 15th isn't as terrifying or horrifying to me as it used to me. I remember procrasinating on my taxes until the very last day (even though I'd recieved all my tax paperwork by the end of February!), then having to take the day off work so I could spend the entire day doing my them, then zipping down to the post office just before twelve midnight to get the envelopes post marked in time. My stress level was through the roof, and I made it worse by procrastinating all day - sleeping in, having breakfast, taking a coffee break, a lunch break, a break to watch my soaps and then my favrourite talk shows, an afternoon break with more coffee, a dinner break while watching the news, a break for a couple drinks, maybe watch a little more television, then suddenly I'm  scrambling to get the dang thing done on time and pretty close to, if not totally in, tears.

But, in the old days - pre-computer, that is - it was hard! You had to do it by hand and you had to do math and you just prayed the battery would last in your calculator! You had ot thumb through the book and read the teeny tiny print of the instrucitons for whatever part you're working on . You had to run down to the library or drug store to make copies of things that had to be sent to both the state and federal, but they only gave you one copy, and you had to check and double check your calculations, then copy it all neatly in pen on the final copy.

It was horrible. Horrible. I shudder to remember.

Now it's easy as pie! Pick up a copy of Tax Break as soon as all the paperwork, W-2s, etc., are recieved, pop it in the computer and off you go. I had our taxes done in just a couple hours this past February, so while a lot of people were freaking out today, I was relaxed and calm and oh so happy! Tax day can't hurt me now!

TBR Challenge Lite

I'm a bit late to the game, but I signed up for the TBR (To Be Read) Lite Challenge. I chose Option B that only requires me to read 6 books before the end of the year. I know I'll probably read more than that, but I'm putting six books on this list that I have been putting off for a LONG time – in some cases YEARS! - in the hopes that I will actually read them now. And, they are, in no particular order:

  1. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by  E.L. Konigsburg
  2. Songs of Earth and Power by Greg Bear 
  3. Electric God by Catherine Ryan Hyde 
  4. The Time Travellers by Linda Buckley-Archer
  5. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  6. Erec Rex The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kinglsey

A Writer's Meme

This was the January 13th meme for Write on Wednesday, and while I'm a bit late at it (having only just come across it), I thought I'd do it anyway. And, how perfect is it that it's WEDNESDAY???

What’s your favourite genre of writing?  Sci-Fi/Fantasy but I’ve mostly been writing fanfic lately (does that count as a genre?).

How often do you get writer’s block? ALL the time. I’ve pretty much had writer’s block for about 4 years.

How do you fix it?  I haven’t, yet, but I’m open to suggestions!

Do you type or write by hand?Usually I type, but if I’m travelling and nowhere near my computer/phone I’ll jot down notes in a notebook.

Do you save everything you write? I used to but now I’m trying to reduce the clutter in my life, so I’ve been scanning all my old writings and then shredding them.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? I’m actually working on that right now. It’s an idea for a YA fantasy trilogy I started writing in high school.

Do you have a  constructive critic? Not yet, but when I actually have something to critique I’ll find one.

Did you ever write a novel? I’ve never finished one, but have several I’ve started.

What genre would you love to write but haven’t? Mystery.

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? True crime. 

How many writing projects are you working on right now? Well, currently I’m trying to write poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month, but that’s about it.

Do you write for a living? Do you want to? I don’t but I’d LOVE to!

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? No, but I do have a short story I would like to rework and submit to a magazine.

Have you ever won an award for your writing? No.

What are your five favourite words?  

            1.  moist

            2.  juicy

            3.  soft

            4.  pure

            5.  joy

Do you ever write based on your dreams?I rarely remember my dreams and the ones I remember aren’t good enough to write about.

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?  I love a happy ending, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. I try to at least wrap everything up as neatly as possible, even if that means not everything works out and not everyone is happy.

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen? Does poetry/haiku inspired by a photograph I took count? Then yes, I have.


Teaser Tuesday - A New Book Meme

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of

Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 


My teasers are from page 90 of Metallic Love by Tanith Lee:


“He was clad in black armor, something between that of a Samurai and a Medieval European knight.”


“Beside him, the female, Kix, was also on her feet and armored, but in light, insectile mail.”