I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Mary Higgins Clark
(Simon & Schuster, 2014)
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The War of Art
(Grand Central Publishing, 2002)
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Worthy Brown's Daughter
Former attorney and author, Phillip Margolin, was compelled to write Worthy Brown’s Daughter when he read of a court case that took place in the Oregon Territory in 1850’s. A slave family named Holmes was brought to the Oregon Territory by their owner, Colonel Nathaniel Ford, with the understanding that they would work as indentured servants for Ford for a number of years, after which they would be freed. The Holmes family upheld their part of the bargain but when the time came for Ford to free them, Ford freed the parents and one young child, but kept the family’s other children. The family found a white lawyer who agreed to represent them and sued Ford for the return of their children. In 1853 the Oregon Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable George Williams, ruled in the family’s favor but one child had already died in Ford’s care. Margolin was so moved by this story that he decided to write a historical novel based on this sad situation.
|Picture of author Phillip Margolin |
(Photo courtesy of Portland Tribune, Jaime Valdez)
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
“What about your time?” a voice inside my head asks insistently. Another small voice whispers seductively, “You see what gets published, you can do as well.” The discussion continues ad nauseam as I critique the books in my head.
Purchased on sale, this book got my attention because the protagonist, Polly Pepper, is an older actress and an amateur sleuth who is the “nice” judge on a reality show, “I’d Do Anything to Become Famous.” Other than Polly Pepper having a flamboyant personality and life style that was somewhat amusing, the book had few redeeming characteristics. The answer to the question of what people would do to become famous turns out to be have sex with anyone, no matter what their gender, and to kill each other. Perhaps the author, a publicist at Walt Disney Studios, was trying to show the absurdity of television reality shows and the depths to which people who produce and appear on them have sunk, but it didn’t work for me. I was left wondering why I had read the book.
|The Devil's Puzzle|
(Plume/Penguin Publishing Group, 2011)
Diane Mott Davidson
(William Morrow, 2004)
|Christmas Carol Murder|
(Kensington Books, 2013)
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The Waverleys are an “odd” family—different from others. They grow plants in their yard that have special properties. Claire Waverley knows how to cook with the herbs and flowers grown in her yard (as did her grandmother before her)—how to combine the plants to produce certain feelings and behaviors. Claire is a sought-after caterer who lives alone, content to cook for others and tend her garden.
Monday, June 9, 2014
This book was read as part of the Once Upon a Time reading challenge. See prior post for more information. You will note I didn't read what I had intended to read because I got fixated on Sarah Addison Allen's books!
Chloe has a strange relationship with books. They appear unbidden to her and always have a message for her if she would heed them. When Chloe seeks to buy a house, the homeowner says:
I would love this book, if for no other reason than this passage!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
|(You can click on any photo to enlarge for better viewing)|
A sense of peace and tranquility surrounds Briarwood, the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve, near Saline, Louisiana, even when my husband and I arrived for the annual picnic to find cars parked up and down the road.
A trip to Briarwood Nature Preserve takes you to a place where one woman's values and principles are evidenced in everything seen.
“Miss Carrie,” as Caroline Dormon was known to friends and family, was a cousin of my husband’s grandfather so we try to attend the annual picnics. An added bonus is getting to visit with some of the other Edgertons who attend this event. My husband met Caroline Dormon when he was young and the family visited Briarwood for a family reunion.
Southern Living Magazine, July 1992
“The unpretentious unconventional woman lived most of her 83 years in a log house set amongst secluded woodlands in a remote area of northeasternmost Natchitoches Parish. Often beset by financial stress, she resorted to such humble and mostly unsuccessful ventures as offering summer camps for girls or selling home-canned products. Yet she gained world renown as a conservationist, naturalist, botanist, artist, historian, author, student of Indian lore and collector of native plants. Louisiana State University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Science Degree.”
Forest and People Magazine, 3rd Quarter, 1990
Caroline Dormon devoted her life to preserving the flora and fauna found at Briarwood and planted many more species on the land. Today over 7,000 species of plants have been recorded at Briarwood, and it's not surprising that one goal of the non-profit group that oversees this nature preserve is to teach the value of native plants in the landscape and their potential for medical use.
As Ricky and I wandered the trails around Briarwood, we took photos to help remember this day.
|path through the wildflower meadow|
|lily (still trying to remember which one)|
|The aroma of the white native azalea filled the path|
|Illicium floridanum (also known as purple anise, Florida anise, stink-bush, or star-anise)|
an evergreen shrub native to the south-eastern United States
especially Florida and Louisiana. Smells like a wet dog!
|Sign at the pond|
|Old sign identifying tree|
|Love the texture of this bark|
|There's a writer's cabin on the premises for people doing research related to Briarwood.|
I felt the same way--experiencing delight and disbelief-- at the natural wonders that Briarwood provides to visitors.
- Flowers Native to the Deep South, Dormon’s book of wildflowers (Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division, 1958; 2nd printing, 1999)
- The Gift of the Wild Things: The Life of Caroline Dormon, by Fran Holman. (Lafayette, La: The Center for Louisiana Studies, 1990)
- Adventures in Wild Flowers: The Timeless Writings of Caroline Dormon, editor Fran Holman (Catawba Publishing, 2010)
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
|Ricky and our friend Elizabeth on porch in New Orleans|
We were lucky that it was the weekend of the Krewe du Vieux parade, the satirical and crudely funny parade that pokes fun at everything NOLA—nothing is sacred—no politician or issue is off-limits. This year's theme was Where the Vile Things Are.
|Street Scene at Vieux Carre parade with Krewe King, Author John Barry|
|Let My People Go-Cup Float|
Each year our New Orleans friends collect large bins of beads for us to haul back to Shreveport. Thus, we left there with barely enough room for us in our SUV and once we got home in Shreveport, we distributed the beads to folks who were riding floats in our neighborhood parade put on by the Krewe of Highland. Then, we started in earnest to prepare for our large open house and Mardi Gras party that we have each year during the Highland parade. The house is decorated for the affair with, what else but--bins of beads!
Some of the folks who braved the weather to attend the Highland parade!
|Cedar Waxwings stripping our bushes of berries!|