Saturday, February 26, 2011

Looking Forward to Spring

Oh,  I am so looking forward to spring. There are so many flowers that I look forward to seeing again.

Soon we will have the yearly profusions of pansies and daffodils stretched down the village main-street, the farmer's market, and the roadside nurseries. They are the favorite flowers here. I especially love the way the yellow daisies seem to bring the fresh spring sunshine back into the fields, as if announcing the sun's warmth has returned from some long southern migration. I look forward to the rich sweet-smelling mulch we will need to spread again, and glorious velvet pink and purple petunias that will again brighten our backdoor. I love the pansies too, even if they do remind me of that Alice in Wonderland 'flower song' every time I see them, a brain worm that can wriggle around all day.
Marigolds are cheerful too, and I especially enjoy the way they discourage mosquitoes from guarding the backdoor!

My mother bought me one of those hyacinths in a dutch planter thingy as a kid. I loved that plant. I loved its beautiful spire. I loved the strong scents that covered the decidedly un-awesome scent of the bayou outside my window (my step-father had a good job in Louisiana that winter). I looooved its bright cheerfulness when all else was gloomy brown moss. That was the year I learned how much difference an indoor plant can make!

I haven't planted a hyacinth in the outside flower garden yet, but I keep thinking about it.

Closest we came was the gladiolas we planted last year. Unfortunately they fell over instead of standing straight and tall and blooming hugely. A heavy rain largely unburied them when they were still bulbs. We didn't notice until too late. I have to admit, their silly little flower faces planted square in the mulch gave me quite a few giggles, but weren't quite what I was looking for in a flower.

I love tiger lilies and day lilies. The most loving, most Christ-minded church I have ever attended was several hours west of where we live now. Sadly, I have been told they are now gone. But, when I was young,& they had glowing mobs of them all around their front porch, and even straggling off in pious lines towards the woods. This one is love by association, but it counts. To this day, seeing a tiger lily anywhere lifts my spirits and sets my heart singing those old familiar hymns.

I love buttercups, honeysuckle, daisies, violets, and dandelions. I picked many wild bouquets for my own mother. I wore them in sweet-smelling tiaras, long necklaces, and fragrant belts. I rejoiced when in my turn my young children brought their mommy-love bouquets to me from our meadow. I am looking forward to the wildflowers blooming again and bringing with them the sweetness and beauty of those memories.


I also love roses. 
I admit it. I especially love the ones my daughter has planted year after year in honor of
mother's day and my birthday. She has so faithfully tended them outside the house ever since. They have grown far more quickly than I expected! The scent on warm evenings lightly tinges the house with her kindness and dedication.

I remember too the time when my husband I were still courting. He wanted to get me a dozen roses but could only afford one. So - he brought that one....and when he could manage it again he brought another, and then another. Eventually he managed the whole dozen, and I loved every single one until the last petal fell... and I never forgot.

~ and now, thanks to you, I have written today's blog. Great post, Lorna!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Cozy Chicks: Yes, I'm Giving Away A Kindle!

Cozy Chicks: Yes, I'm Giving Away A Kindle!: "A Deadly Cliché Kindle Contest! Ellery AdamsThe purpose: To generate early sales for A Deadly Cliché and to thank the readers who’ve made ..."

A very good cozy author has a new book coming out this month, and in its honor she is going to give away a Kindle. Obviously, I'd love to win it as I still don't have an e-reader of my own, but even more I'd like to let my readers know about her new book & contest ~ hence the blog :D

Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011 - Update

I mentioned I had joined the list of people who promised to read 12 mysteries this year. How am I doing? Just fine! I didn't really think I'd do 12 in a month in which I have other books I need to study. I didn't mean I'd do 12 in January, just that I have read that many in one month before. Here's my current list, plus the reviews for each I wrote on my Shelfari page.

I did receive a book from the group, The Survivor by Sean Slater,  but as it isn't my type of mystery, Tom is reading it first. So far he says its decently written but the author's lack of familiarity with firearms really shows.

Here's the current list ~

Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton Finished 1/3/2011
Its a fun book, but much less plausible than the first in the series. Aunt Dimity's appearances are more like cameos.

Dem Bones Revenge by Kris Neri Finished 1/19/2011

This was one exciting mystery! It had my attention from the first pages and didn't let up the pace until the very end. I was surprised not to get a particular announcement by the end of it though. Tracy certainly sounded like she was expecting changes. :)

Book 1 was largely about her husband Drew's family. This time the action centers on Tracy's mother who is inexplicably found standing over the murdered body of an old Hollywood hack who just happens to have been in a lawsuit with one of Drew's clients. It doesn't look good for her, especially since she is clearly hiding something, or perhaps quite a few things! Tracy's difficulty in relating to her mother is slowly explained as we see Martha pretty much turn Tracy's household on its ear while her daughter tries to find the real killer and keep her elusive diva mother safe at the same time.

It turns out Tracy can't remember clearly much of her earliest childhood, but its been haunting her dreams and even her daydreams. She finally finds out why by the end.

Now I am really looking forward to the third book :D

Crossing the Lion by Cynthia Baxter Finished 1/23/2011

I didn't enjoy this one near as much as the others in the series. I am not sure why. Seemed well enough written. The ending was a real let down, but I'd gone off it way before then.

How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca Hale Finished 1/30/2011

Confusing! At the end all I knew was that some of the people the narrator had seen were each other... I can't tell for sure which ones were doing the double appearance trick. It was disorienting never to learn the narrator's name or know more of her story. The writing had promise but every time I started to get really into it the book would confuse me again with its flashbacks and jumping around (the cat's bath is basically in the book 3x). & I don't think I ever saw a story in which EVERYONE was so obsessed with knowing what happened to some poor slob well over a hundred years ago.