Showing posts from February, 2014

Books: 4 Outstanding Authors on My Bookshelf

Cover of Run Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Cover of Cutting for Stone

Cover of Mistress of the Art of Death

When you read by genre, a whole world of things can happen while you are not looking. That is what happened to me while I was reading the biographies of the founding fathers (30 or More Books You Might Like) plus the big wonderful Steve Jobs book.  People kept telling me about fiction they were reading but one can only read so much. I might add that I needed cataract surgery...but now that I can see again, life is good. Let the reading begin!

But now I am on a quest to get caught up with several years of reading. Here is what I have on my book shelf:

State of Wonder, Bell Canto, Run and any other book Ann Patchett has written.
Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,Doris Kearns Goodwin

I suggest you look at Book People and their blog post, Ann Patchett Recommends

#4, #Chinese #iPhones and Elevators!

I noticed that the elevator did not have a #13 while I was in Mexico! When I visit the Far East it startles me because there it is big is life...a floor with the #13 button. However the Chinese have their superstitions too. They don't have all the buttons either. How does that work just exactly?

I had always thought that #13 superstition had something to do with Harry Houdini. I looked it up and I was wrong. However, numbers do play a part in most cultures on this earth I think. But to leave out a whole floor on every building's elevator just seems very, very strange don't you think?

Then I began to think about the iPhone. Since the Chinese think that the #4 sounds the same as the word for death, they don't have a #4 elevator button. I wondered if they allowed a #4 on all those new cell phones everyone is using. #4 or GHI if you are texting the old fashioned way.

I don't know why it just hit me but #### are very strange, exotic and wonderful things…

Travel to Puerto Penasco, Mexico: Where the USA and Mexico Rub Shoulders

Travel is one of the great joys of my life.  I love learning about people and watching the world from a different perspective. My husband and I have been lucky enough to see cultures unlike our own and to learn that our values are not necessarily all that there is. It has become so much of a part of our being we had forgotten the shock of seeing the lifestyle in third world countries. But while seeing the world through the eyes of our friends, I felt a certain degree of surprise again that people surviving in such hard circumstances.
This last week our group visited a border town in Mexico very close to Tucson. After a drive through the Tohono Oodam native American reservation and south into Mexico, we arrived at the 5 star Las Palomas Beach Golf Resort on the Gulf of California. The journey was marked by a delay because of a car wreck involving a crime scene that forced a trip on the back roads through the reservation. The drive that would have normally take 5 hours was lengthen by …

Books, history and Vladimir Putin

The Olympic Stadium (Photo credit: MichaelWu) All those books I read about the founding fathers for the last couple of years has taught me one very clear thing...history is not pretty. I like to think that we Americans have been honest with ourselves when it come to what we have and have not done. But then I realize the honest person cannot say that is entirely so. We tend to gloss over the bad and even justify it as a means to a good end.

When the commentators for the Olympics were discussing the opening ceremonies they spoke of President Vladimir Putin and the "usable history" that was presented to the world, they also spoke of how the president of Russia was even taking a hand in monitoring what was put in text books for the school children. I suppose that there is only so much you can tell children. The brutal facts may have to wait until later.

But I would also like to think that we know, Vladimir Putin knows and world knows that looking at the past can be a very necess…

Shopping for Shoes with Maddie and Amelia!

Many, many years ago my now 16 year old granddaughter picked out a pair of shoes for me. They were Teva's and I have always loved them because I could wade in the water and it didn't ruin them. Now about 12 years later I went shopping with other granddaughters. I wanted a pair of dancing shoes to wear to our Valentines Day dance.

Seeing things through a child's eyes is a very wonderful thing.

Maddie is 10 and she could see what I needed right away. She found a pair of t-strap shoes, red, large heels and very practical. She thought they were great! I thought they looked like something a person in their 70s (LIKE ME) would wear...I did not like them at all. But I loved that Maddie was thinking of me...sincerely thinking about me. She wanted me to have what I really needed. She is such a wonderful granddaughter.

Amelia, on the other hand, brought out pair after pair of gladiator shoes for me to admire. Even though I am in my 70s and don't want practical shoes, I do know …

Friendship:To Join or Not to Join

I was invited to join our Red Hat club here in the park. I won't do it but the invitation did make me stop and think. Why is it that we are drawn to somethings and absolutely won't do others?

The discussion about the choices we make is always on my mind. Within the last week I have had people bring up why choosing to be happy, or please ourselves is imperative. But the article I read that said that happy people don't make friends willy-nilly made very good sense. They are slow to join this group or that and don't let just anyone into their life. In fact, it seems to me that they avoid toxic groups or people by simply taking a little care.

Now I am not saying that Red Hat girls are not absolutely wonderful. But, when making a commitment to "join" a group, I am just very slow to get there.  It has to feel just right.

How do you approach a situation like that?

Just wondering.


30 (or more) Books You Might Like

Recently a Facebook contact asked me to share what I was reading and my thoughts on books in general. I was very flattered that she was interested. 

What we read is one thing but why we read what we do is entirely another. Amazon has a list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. Have you seen it? When I looked it over, I was surprised at how many books I had simply chosen not to read. I suppose it is something we all do. Our tolerance for certain reading material can keep us away from an author or subject matter. For example, I have chosen not to read The Hunger Games, anything by Truman Capote, Ann Rule or Stephen King. There are lots of others I could add to that list. I cannot make myself read some things.

Note: All books available at Books on Amazon

I just finished reading a book called The Power of the Dog: A Novel written by Thomas Savage. The book is a reprint originally released in 1967. It only sold about 1000 copies when it first was published. It was absolutely incredible. In t…

From Angkor Wat to the Car Wash

My granddaughters, aged 6 and 10, came to visit my husband and I this week for two night. They are children of the world because their parents are great travelers and seek out adventures. They have ridden on elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand, walked the trail to Cat Cat Village in Sapa, Vietnam, been in Singapore, Koh Samui in Thailand and have lived in China for many years. This last Christmas they climbed the temples in Cambodia and I have a picture of them standing in front of Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world. 
The youngest speaks Chinese because she has a Chinese nanny that has taken care of her since she was born in a Chinese hospital. Next year they will move to Dubai. On this trip to Tucson their mother bought them Build-a-Bears with beating hearts. That is about as close to a real gift as they ever get because their gifts are the time spent with their parents doing very exciting things.

So, I ask you, what do you do to have fun with them when they come to visit? We…

Aging: When I Grow Up I Want to be Like You!

Have you seen those t-shirts that have the words "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet!"? Generally we put those cute little shirts on a 2 year olds because they do require a lot of patience. But I have come to believe that those shirts should come in all sizes.

I have a friend that celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. Seven of us played 18 holes of golf with him to mark the day. When we grow up we all want to be like him.

We gathered for a birthday party his wife had organized on Saturday. There were  64 people there that value him as much as I do. He is funny and smart and very durable. You can see why there are those of us that want to be like him.

Aging is not easy. It requires tenacity to reach 80 years of age. You need exercise, good food, lots of social interaction and, most of all, a sense of humor. But mostly, it requires the ability to remain flexible enough to meet the challenges that aging brings.

So here we are in a group picture. Hollis and his wi…