Archive for the ‘Book’ Category


Woo Hoo! Hello?

May 3, 2010


I know, I’m not hanging around here much but I *DO* think about this wonderful insane but quiet lately blog – I do!

and now, I’m here to encourage anyone who likes to read and win books to click    **  HERE  **   and visit my other blog to enter a quick little contest to win a book!

OK?   Thanks!

– Curious “C”


Women Unbound

December 3, 2009

I’m hosting a reading challenge!    OOps, I mean…  My alter-ego is.

Anyway, just had to share over here what I’m up to OVER THERE… and see if any of my friends in this slice of blogiverse want to join in a year long (plenty of time!) event to encourage reading around a certain topic:  Women’s Issues!

The rules are easy and no one is going to follow up and grade you.

So, click here —->  The Women Unbound Challenge <—

and think about it, will ya?     Or just leave a note here and tell me your favorite book that you think I should read for this challenge.   I’m already wanting to read about 75 books for the darn thing.

Also, since I’m a co-host, I’m reliving all that fun and joy of the early days of blogging.   When you would somehow find yourself on a blog and then click on someone who commented and then jump to their blog and the hop-skip somewhere else in blogosphere and discover NEW.  WORLDS.

and new friends.

and at least, extremely interesting people…




It seems that everyone’s Google Reader is so full of MUST-READS that I can’t even find time to read a book let alone comment at all my favorite blogs!  It’s just bad, I tell ya.



OK.  Anyone try any odd pies this past holiday?   I made a cranberry pecan and it was scrumptious.     🙂


Book Recommendation 09001

August 16, 2009

Golly, it’s been awhile since I set up camp over here and regaled the three of you who might actually be reading this and I think, “Self, what tis this absence thing or dichotomous lapse?”

See, I don’t even make much sense.

Anyway, I realize in the past I have enthusiastically announced all sorts of inspired “regular” (as in ongoing) post ideas* and then abandoned same.   Um, like here and here and here.    or here.   And yet, with that same enthusiasm that I’m so famous for (I can count on the three of you to back me up with this, yes?) I once more announce to trumpets and much fanfare of streamers and confetti, that I have a post idea to keep up with on some sort of regular basis.   Hopefully.


(for the year 2009 and this being the first over here on my non-book blog so 001)

Population 485 population485 by Michael Perry

So unexpected.    So worthy of being read.    So much more than just living and working in a small town…   very humbly thoughtful, intelligent, occasionally goofy in a charming way, honest and heart-warming.    and heart-breaking.   GOOD STUFF.

It’s a memoir by a guy who makes his living as a writer but stays grounded by working as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Responder in a very small town in Wisconsin.

“He crafts a lovely metaphor.”   (you’ll ‘get it’ if you read it.)

If you like memoirs about regular people who do inspiring things (fight fires!)  -or-   if you like reading about medicine without it being too over the head or maybe boring with terminology and just the right amount of gore and drama  -or-   if you aspire to crafting a life while you craft a career,

you might like this book.

If you like to ‘wax poetically’ – it has just a bit of philosophy, some wisdom, some nuttiness of home town living.    If you like witty or whacky supporting characters, this book has some of that.      If you long for connectedness to a time and to a place and a realization how often we forget and need the reminder of our own humanity – I think you’ll love this book.

Michael Perry has a few other books, too.   Check out his website for more!

*  Other almost serialized post ideas:  movie reviews, quotes, jobs, mosaics, pies…


Dear Potential New-to-Me Doctor,

May 15, 2009

Dear Potential New-to-Me Doctor,

I found you in the list of doctors that accept my insurance.   I liked your name and the fact that you are close to my age and have been an official doctor for almost 20 years.     What else do I have to go on?!     They should make you list favorite color, astrological sign and if you prefer pie or cake.

I am writing to you because I have made an appointment and wanted to save the who/what/where/blahblahblahs so we may have a productive meeting.   I have no physical complaints to present to you and I hope not to have any in the near future.

Also, I’m curious if you will respond.   Knowing you are busy and my letter to you a bit unorthodox in the ‘Choosing-A-Doctor’ process, I wonder if you will write me back.   I’m enclosing a SASE to make it a bit easier.

I’m giving you the opportunity to NOT ACCEPT me as a new patient if you decide I’m not someone you want to know.

Let’s start, shall we?     I have no kids – never quite got around to it and have since decided that our family of wife plus husband plus adorable dog is just fine.     I work out occasionally, would love to lose 5-10 pounds but don’t really care, I try to eat right, I admit to smoking cigarettes on occasion but can easily go weeks or months without one, and I partake more beer and wine than is recommended.    I’ve just started yoga and I’m liking it way more than I expected to.    Over all, life is really great and I have no complaints.     Other than my hypothyroidic condition and nasty cold sores on my upper lip every so often, I’ve got nothing wrong with me that I know about.

I love to read – do you?    What’s your favorite book?    I am recommending The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, especially if you love dogs.    Do you like dogs?     It was just a wonderful read.     I’ve set a goal to read 100 books this year and not sure I’ll make it but I’m reading quite a variety – it’s fun.      I work as a substitute teacher because I love the flexibility and because it gives me something to say when people ask me what I do.     I also volunteer at the nursing home and do free tutoring through the library for math, language and computers.

So, is this enough?   Would you like me as a patient?   If not, please save us both the time and effort and send this back with a big red line thru it.     Or fill out my little survey.     Click the appropriate circle:

O   –    Yes, would love to have you as a new patient.    I will remind myself to read this again as your appointment nears.

O   –     No, you sound really weird.     Find somebody else.

O  –      I’m passing this around the office and we’re all getting a good laugh.

O  –     Do you have no idea how busy I am?!   I’m an extremely important health professional and I do not have the time to be writing patients or filling out silly forms.   I’ll just hand this to some poor sap in the office and see if they will fill it out.

Thank you for your being open to my process of finding a good doctor.  I would love to know more about you and your philosophies of patient care and personal health and well-being.      Do you think you would be a good doctor for me?




Partial Post

April 21, 2009


I have started and deleted I dont know HOW MANY posts and thought I’d best just put anything ‘out here’.   But nothing has seemed interesting or blog-worthy.  I have been visiting you all and lurking (by ‘you’ I mean all of you who might be wondering what’s happened to me and why I haven’t posted here awhile.  You know who you are, right?!)

Allow me to give you a sample of various thoughts streaming across my consciousness:

It’s raining here today.   

I am addicted to the TV show Bones.   Anyone see it last night?!

I read 300 pages for last weekend’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon.    It may not seem like much but it probably represents about 6 hours of reading time.     So, what was I doing the other 18 hours of the ‘Thon!?     I slept about an hour and half (it was a NAP!)  and I went to yoga class for 2 hours.   Of course, there are some activities that are difficult to do while reading and I did some of those.   and the rest of it, I was blogging!   Reading posts of other readers, participating in mini-challenges to keep us all excited about the Read-A-Thon, and commenting.   COMMMENTING COMMENTING COMMENTING and all the clicks and links and reading posts to comment on.    That’s what took most of my remaining 14 hours:   cheering on the approximately 150 other participants!      It was fun.   🙂

I’m reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett;  I’m about half way through the 972 pages.    After I finish, I will continue to read Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Thought His Wife Was a Hat.     And then I hope to start In the Woods by Tara French.  

If you want to know what I’m up to blogging-wise and don’t know about my book blog, you may want to visit me there by clicking here.     

I’ve made a few pies lately:    Chocolate Pecan, Orange Meringue, Chocolate Cream, etc.    I’ll be baking a Bourbon Apple tomorrow.

Oscar is the most apathetic therapy dog in the universe.    But he’s loved and beloved so I keep dragging him along on my volunteer visits.   It’s not that he is unfriendly;  more like obstinately apathetic in a cooperative kind of way.

I haven’t traveled anywhere lately but I have a trip scheduled to Phoenix in May.

I’m having lunch this Friday with my friend Teeni – looking forward to that!    Maybe we’ll take a photo.    We’ll definitely be talking about Joan

When I logged into this blog today, I noticed that a few days ago, one of my posts had 133 hits.   WOW!    It was one of my Duffy posts…    I’ve been averaging about 20 hits a day here, in case you want to compare stats…

It’s really strange how I have set up such different worlds between my blogs.    Almost like having two different residences – my summer home versus my vacation home?    Totally different neighborhoods, weather, architectural styles…     It’s just odd, in a way.    

A huge happy hip THANK YOU to JavaQueen for granting me some linky-love and giving me an award!   The one called Let’s Be Friends!!   yes, let’s!

By the way, does one’s avatar ‘go away’ with disuse?     I’ve been leaving comments under this ID but my pretty little kite isn’t showing up…

Well, just bookmark this post for when you need to get some sleep.  ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.   But, it’s SOMETHING!



Thoughts on Subbing

March 23, 2009

More random stuff to ponder…     ♦♦♦

One kid came up to ask a question about a person in a book the class was reading about the Titanic and was wondering why the text referred to Mrs. John Smith when the back of the book list of all the passengers referred to her as Mrs. Veronica Smith  (I’m making these names up – I really don’t remember what her REAL name was, shame on me) and I tried to explain to him that old archaic system of how wives used to only be referenced by the man they were married to.   I absolutely loved that he frowned and responded, “huh?  why?”     He thought it too confusing.    Good boy.    Women have their own identities and are not just extensions of the husband.   Not that I want to start the whole debate of girls belonging to their fathers until they are married off and then belong to the husband and the convenience? of taking the guy’s name issue.   I’m OK with most of it, but let me keep my first name and let me use Ms.

I read a book that was lying on the desk of the teacher I was subbing for and now I can’t find it in Amazon in order to list it in my BOOKS-READ-IN-2009.   I’m bummed.   It was cute, too.   Something about how ‘If you think about it, all problems are math problems.’   The poor kid spends ever waking moment translating all issues and challenges of the day as a math problem until finally, he realizes that he woke up at 7 am, it only takes 3 minutes to get dressed, 5 minutes to eat breakfast, 1 minute to brush his teeth, and the bus is due to arrive at 7:42 ==>  no problem!  He’s got PLENTY of time to catch the bus.    However.  Later, the science teacher announces in class that ‘If you think about it, all problems are science problems.’   DARN IT!    very cute.

[Added later:  found it!   Math Curse by Jon Scieszka]

I actually had to teach today.   Usually I have worksheets to pass out and I’m not really involved.   But today, we had read aloud and together as a class, ask questions, let’s work through this together, go over it again, etc and then some…  My mouth went dry from so much talking; I was SOO thirsty!      Lesson was on linking verbs, predicate noun and adjectives, passive and active voice, regular and irregular verbs.     Such fun.




March 3, 2009

It’s 8:14 am on Tuesday as I type this sentence.

I just bebopped back here to post this awesome award I just accepted from my friend Teeni:



I love sunshine and this does mean a lot.   Thanks!   

Usually, I graciously accept my awards and move on with little fanfare, no crowing on my own blog and no passing-it-along.   Not that I don’t have tons of favorites – I have way too many!    So, if you are reading this and you ‘know’ me and thus are probably on my blogroll or are on a blogroll of one of these on my blogroll (Reader has severely diminished my use of my own blogroll as a way to find  you all….)   FEEL FREE to accept, claim and pass it along!    Do go read Teeni’s post and follow the bread crumbs for how SHE got it, though.    Common courtesy thing I try to encourage.    If you’ve ever commented here before (or might) and I didn’t (or won’t) delete it as spam — ha!!   then feel free to accept some sunshine.   🙂

I’ve been up since 4:30 ish.    Hub had a plane to catch.   The one he should have been on yesterday but was cancelled due to weather.    Good thing he was home – a check arrived I needed his signature to cash.  I mean deposit.  [another snort.]

I made coffee and confused the dog by giving him an early breakfast.     

And I waited for the phone to ring to invite me to substitute teach.    The call could come as early as 5:30 so I got in and out of the shower before that.

Yea, they didn’t call.

RRrrrrrrrrr.     It really can be annoying that you don’t know if you might have to work.    Of course, I could say NO if they call, but if the day might as well be stuck in a classroom earning some dollars, I might as well be ready, just in case.     But now I’m ‘ready’ and wish I could crawl back in bed.  

Yea FLEXIBILITY!   waving my pompons!   woo hoo!

I haven’t ‘worked’ in 3 weeks.    But thankfully, I do know that I will work tomorrow.    The coordinator called up with a few advance notice assignments last week and one will be tomorrow.   I’ll be at the high school working as an aide with the special needs department.     It’s not bad.     I seem to like the assignments no one else feels comfortable with.   I like middle school and I like being an aide.    I REALLY disliked the younger elementary grades.     Just 45 minutes as the ‘reading’ teacher in a second grade class and I achieved out of control chaos in 28 minutes.   Scary!     They’re cute but menacing.

My newly decided to do list for the day is…

Finish this post.   Finish a review of Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K at the other blog.    (you DO know the link, right?)   The book was simple and complicated.    I’m still thinking about it…   Go to the bank.    Call for a slip reservation at the marina, decide which marine surveyor to hire and give calls back yea and nay, and take a nap.    

I wish you all a day full of prosperous joyous sunshiny smiles.


Award List Mondays

December 15, 2008

I would like to feature the lastest and update-iest news on 2008 movies!   This is mostly for me – I love lists, I love the movies, I want to see them ALL and, of course, I never quite do it.

I will post this on Monday’s – giving Awards Daily the credit:  I get emails from that site and it’s my favorite movie stuff blog – very professional and all the fun.    EVERYTHING is there;  I will only do a snippet here.  and I’ll include my thoughts…

If you have a favorite website for movie reviews, please share!

The AFI Top Ten Films of the Year   (AFI – Am Film Institute)


Boston Film Critics

Best Picture: WALL•E and Slumdog Millionaire (tie)
Best Actor: Sean Penn for Milk and Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (tie)
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Director: Gus Van Sant for Milk and Paranoid Park
Best Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li for Paranoid Park
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Foreign-Language Film: Let the Right One In
Best Animated Film: WALL•E
Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire
Best New Filmmaker: Martin McDonagh for In Bruges
Best Ensemble Cast: Tropic Thunder

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve only seen The Dark Knight and Iron Man from the AFI list but can’t wait to see Milk and Frost/Nixon. I don’t know much about Gran Torino and Frozen River and this is the first I’ve heard of* Wendy and Lucy. I’ve read half of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but, of course, I know it stars Brad Pitt.

Iron Man had some serious logic holes to me but it was entertaining.  I would not list it in my top ten.   And I probably haven’t even seen 10 worthy of considering.  YET! . . .

* ok – I know, I know.  I know very little about anything this year!   Let me state again, this is my way to get myself caught up and be prepared for the Oscars (Feb 22nd).   We have less than 3 months people!!

From the Boston list, I’ve seen In Bruges (and LOVED it because of the setting!  one of my favorite towns in the world…)   I have a LOT to get excited about and have been barely paying attention, until now.

Slumdog Millionaire looks wonderful.

And for my most recent Holiday movie to recommend:   Fred Claus.   It was way better than I expected and WOW!  What a cast!    Every time I new character came on screen, my hub and I would say something like, “Hey – is that Kathy Bates?”  or  “That can’t be Rachel Weisz! – it IS!” “Holy Cow!  Kevin Spacey is in this?”, etc.

and I cried.  Aaaah, sniff, sniff.  I believe, Santa! I believe! (Can I still get that Lite-Brite toy I asked for in 1972?)



November 13, 2008

I just wanted to announce something exciting that I will be doing tomorrow, Friday, November 14, 2008:    I’m playing ‘librarian’ at the nursing home I volunteer at!   I’m quite excited.

The only requirements were that I was willing to do it and I know how to alphabetize.  (in that order)  Check!

A local city library donated their discarded large print books and so I get to pull books off the shelves and now add the new (old?) ones!      I have permission to keep any that look good to me.   I’m to throw-away all the paperbacks and tiny print books and any damaged ones.     Actually, the paperbacks will be going to a big ‘sale’ that is upcoming…

I have always secretly wanted to be a librarian.   When I was trying to decide what to major in as a college freshman, I was turned off by how much education was required for the jobs that I thought sounded ‘fun’ and how much pay resulted upon graduation.   So sad!   Not that I am/was all that motivated by money but, well, I guess I was a bit upset by the cost/benefit ratio compared to other college degrees I could get.   Why not spend only 4 years (usually 5 if you mess up ANY semesters, like I did)  in college and get a degree that was paying huge!  (ie, engineering) compared to spending countless years getting a PhD in Library Science and earn half an engineer’s salary?   (I truly wish I could go back 25 years and re-think all this;  oh well.)

Back to tomorrow:

I’m really excited for this crazy task that I’m sure all the other volunteers rolled their eyes at and found better things to do with their time…     I’m playing librarian!

Did you ever play librarian as a kid? I did…

Also, did anyone see last night’s promo for next weeks’ episode of Bones?    hee hee…

In the meantime, I have reviews in my head of Marley & Me and Interpreter of Maladies = AWESOME! and can anyone remind me why I wanted to read The Mathematics of Love by Emma Dawson?  I’m on page 4 and already confused what’s going on.  I can’t find the review/blog that inspired me to bookmooch it.

* this is dreadful:   I was going to post this, since it is of more ‘book’ nature, on my other blog but I’m paranoid about that job I interviewed for and that the other blog is being looked at by people in a position to hire me!   Am I justified that this post doesn’t make me look too impressive?  sigh, I’m a basketcase…


Fun Bits and Pieces

September 16, 2008

The best advice for writer’s block (blogger-block, in this case) is to just lay the fingers on the keyboard and start typing.   Anything.

… ♦ …

I’m drinking cinnamon flavored coffee from the fill-the-bag brand (which I can’t recall, Java something?) that is for sale at the local Stop And Shop grocery store.    Sometimes I mix it with Dunkin Donuts regular flavor and sometimes with that AND hazelnut from Eight O’Clock coffee.

The husband was underfoot yesterday so I didn’t have much time to play on the PC.    Crazily, when he tries to work from home, his PC works much faster if the home PC is OFF.   Whatever.   I actually get a lot of house stuff done or I leave and go shopping.   (I bought a bunch of LLBean lighted hats at the outlet for Holiday gifts.   Yep!  I start  E A R L Y)

… ♦ …

Today is Maid Day.      Employing a cleaning service is something that I’m mildly embarrassed to admit.   But that is silly.    We got addicted to having a clean house on a regular schedule when I was working full-time as a computer programmer while also selling cosmetics.    I would rather have a cleaning service than cable TV and probably internet service.    I’d give up beer first.    I could think of tons of expenses that are frivolous compared to my clean floors at someone else’s labor.     Plus, I can feel good giving a person a job.    I would feel horrible if we had to fire her.   

It’s that regular thing that gets in my way when considering the concept of cleaning my house myself.   I hate to clean floors.   I don’t mind toilets and showers and mirrors.   Dusting doesn’t bother me.  But I abhor sweeping and mopping.     Plus, it takes me 4 times as long to clean as it does my Martha.     And, I tend to put off to tomorrow what won’t get done today, so the time between cleanings gets stretched.     It’s just better for everyone’s peace of mind and comfort to hire someone to clean.     Have I beat this horse enough?   Oh, it being Maid Day means I have to spend an hour or so ‘picking’ up and doing a few rounds of laundry.   all good.

… ♦ …

I love days of white snow on the calendar.   That’s what we called it on during my direct selling days.    When you have nothing going on, nothing is written on the calendar and so it’s like being blinded by the white snow!   Which usually disorients you and causes shutdown.   NOT a good thing.   Best to have a busy calendar.   But, since I’m not actively selling (I AM passively selling, so if you ever need a lipstick, leave a note.) I absolutely LOVE not having anywhere I have to get to!     But come to think of it, I do need to run over and buy dog food.   not a biggie…

… ♦ …

The funeral on Saturday was nice.   Despite the area getting deluged with rain the day prior, the cemetary wasn’t washed out and was amazingly dry!    I ended up switching my heels for flipflops anyway, but the sandy soil was held together quite nicely with weeds and occasional grass, so all was good.   The sun was warm, the service short, only a few tears.

I enjoyed listening to my cousins recap the days before Grandma slipped away and very sad I hadn’t timed it right to visit myself.     Grandma was worn out, her body couldn’t take living any longer.    Her mind was sharp but she was content that it was time to say goodbye.     Apparently, she had a grand time regaling all her grand and greatgrandkids with ‘off-color’ jokes and they had a laughfest only a few days before she died.     

Again, back to central Kansas:  only a few tears, a lovely parting service, and good Lutheran hymn and a lots of cake back at the church.    

… ♦ …

I can’t describe the confusion and thinking that results when someone tells me “I’m sorry for your loss” when loved ones die.   I realize it’s what you are supposed to say?   but my heart can’t or won’t ‘get it’.    I mean, thank you, of course, it’s nice of everyone to express, but.   BUT.    Death isn’t always sad.   Death is a part of life.   Why do we have to be sorry for it?     I might have regrets that I didn’t get to see Grandma in her last days but I did send her a beautiful letter expressing my love and sent pictures and little {hug} squigglies but I won’t be obsessing about my physical energy not being there right then.   I guess I believe energy takes many forms and I’m not sad that she is gone from my current dimension.    I’m glad her health struggles are over and I believe she lived a long time (age 93) to see many cool things and have an amazing impact on this world.    Four kids, seven grandkids, seventeen great grands, and eight great GREAT grand kids!     

She made the most heavenly fried chicken.    One of my cousins spent a whole day practicing with her a few years ago, attempting to recreate it.   She thinks it’s close.    

Anyway, thank you again, everyone who expressed nice thoughts when reading that I was attending a funeral.     This blogosphere is full of nice people, I do believe.   Thank you.

… ♦ …

Like everyone’s family, we do have some interesting characters.   That’s all I really need to say.     And if we’re going to talk about family and food, I have to mention that one of the very best things about the funeral was the home grown tomatoes served at the luncheon.     Nothing quite as wonderful.     

… ♦ …

I have read six books in the last two weeks, I think.   Yet, I can’t seem to write ANY reviews, or even sum up my thoughts and reactions.   Or tell you WHAT they were about.    It’s not that I don’t remember; but that I’m stumped for the right words.    It’s maddening and frustrating.   So I keep reading.   and thus, my to-do list of reviews-to-write keeps getting longer…       I’m losing the whole idea of why I love to read!

… ♦ …

I picked up the dog from the kennel (which isn’t really a kennel – too wonderful to use that word!) and he was so delighted to see me!    Or maybe he feigned it well.    Oh, what human characteristics we give to our fur-babies…     Oscar is my third dog and though the other two each have a special place in my heart,  I truly treasure this one.   He’s such a lovable goof ball.     When I brought him home, he inspected the place to make sure it was as he left it.   I was unpacking groceries and I could hear him touring the upstairs, jumping on the bed, running around in devil-dog mode, and then coming back to sit and stare at me, as I continued putting cans away.     He’s a dear.

… ♦ …

I’ve been invited to a party!   It’s called…      “Highballs and Hobnobbing”     Did you raise your eyebrows, like I did?   Yes, of course, I’m going to go.   

… ♦ …    I guess I’ll go change my meez…