Saturday, July 31, 2010

LOCAL NEWSPAPER

I love our local paper. Especially the crime blotter.

Yesterday a woman called police about two men fighting at her house. She said she was sick and tired of them fighting all the time in her yard, and she was also tired of their marijuana plant growing there.

Sure enough, there it was in a pot, healthy, green, proud. Out in the open.

An arrest was made.

Lesson for the day: don't get into fights until you move your marijuana plant.

Friday, July 30, 2010

NEW BITE

Something bit the bottom of my toe day before yesterday. I was minding my own business, walking around the lighthouse like I do every morning and ouch! I had to hang on to hubby and try to get off whatever it was. And of course, it was gone by that time. Fire ant, bee, spider... Who knows? I took a Benedryll and used cortisone cream and was out for the afternoon.

So in the pool yesterday afternoon - just me and hubby because a short shower had run everyone else off except two people reading in lounge chairs - I saw some floating leaves and scooped them up so I could throw them out as I always do.

Wrong move. I failed to see the bee on one leaf. Middle finger got stung this time and hurt like blazes even after I applied cortisone cream.

So now it's another day. And the spider's still outside the window. And they say trouble comes in threes.

I'm concerned, I must confess. Very concerned.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SPIDER

The guy who lives with me has been photographing a spider living below the bedroom window. Some people accuse him of making a pet of it, especially when it moved too close to the stairway for comfort and I threatened to use a broom on it. He carefully took a stick and put it back in its old web.

Today we come in and he's horrified to see a lizard lurking below the web. "That lizard ate my spider!"

Hmmm. I hope so. "Maybe not."

"It ate it! It looks full!"

Go, you lizard. Then I look up. "It's moved."



Now it's under the eaves by the window. Someone scared away the lizard. I wonder who. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pier Scenes



On our morning walk yesterday, some kind of critter bit or stung me on the bottom of a toe. I had to take a Benydryll and use some cortisone cream but it still burned like fire. I suspect a fire ant but don't know for sure. Today it was back to normal, thank goodness.

Anyway, here are some scenes from various days' walks to the Village.

Fisherman Casting for Bait on Pier


Outgoing Ship at Pier - No, that is not me exercising on the pier!


Lawn Care in front of Casino - our tax money at work! Thank you, county workers! 


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anne George

I like Anne George's mysteries. They're set in Birmingham, Alabama, and feature two sixtyish sisters, the elder quite a character. Widowed three times (she married men at least twenty-eight years older), she's well off and used to speaking her mind.

While volunteering at the library yesterday - shelving books - I discovered a large print edition of one I hadn't read before. MURDER RUNS IN THE FAMILY.

I love the dry humor. For instance, when a judge staggers out and collapses on the edge of a fountain, the younger sister Patricia Anne wets a tissue in the water for him to mop his face. The elder sister, Mary Alice, disapproves because, "That water's filthy. Kids pee in it. You know. When they go wading."

Unfortunately, Ms. George died after writing five or six in the series, but for anyone who enjoys light mysteries with voice and humor, her work is quite entertaining.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A GOOD YEAR

I just read this book by Peter Mayle. I've never read him before but when I realized the movie was made from this book, I got it. Despite Russell Crowe starring, I liked the movie enormously.

Usually I like books more than the movies (with one exception being FIREFOX by Craig Thomas. Clint Eastwood starred in the movie, and it was much better than the book.) With A GOOD YEAR, it was hard to decide which I enjoyed more. The book was a pleasant read, but the story was very different from the movie's plot, so much so that I hardly recognized it. However, it did help me understand some of the subtleties I missed watching it on screen. Lavender essence, for example, and the housekeeper's dancing that I didn't quite get. The movie also had things like scenery that the printed word can't really do justice to.

So movie or book? It was a toss-up. I got some more Peter Mayle books to read. I hope they're as enjoyable.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SHARK

On our morning walk, we spotted this dead shark on the beach. Fishermen caught him the night before and didn't release him soon enough.

He was three or four feet long. Kind of scary to think the sharks this big (And bigger! We saw a fisherman catch one over six feet one day.) are hanging out where we swim.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ELIN HILDERBRAND

I think it was Laura???? who said she enjoyed this author so I got SUMMER PEOPLE and read it this past weekend.

While I like women's fiction okay, I prefer something that has a tight plot. This story was more of a woman trying to find herself, detailing her family's travails along the way, and wasn't terribly interesting to me. Others will probably love it.

But I think there were two reasons the book didn't work for me. The story about a family's grief for a dead husband and father, was too realistic; I read fiction to escape real life, not depress myself further. And the writer in me kept noticing craft details like changes of POV all over the place that had me rereading whole paragraphs to figure out why they seemed disjointed.

Overall, it was a nice enough story but not one I'd read again.

And you can't ever tell what other books by the same author are like. I didn't like Nora Roberts for years because so many of her books read like standard romances. Then I read one that seemed like another person had written it because the voice stood out so sharply. In all, there were 3-4 in this voice and I liked them.

So my taste depends a lot on the voice. But I still want an interesting plot, too. I guess that's why I'm into mysteries so much right now. Some of them have great voices and intriguing plots.

Anybody else have a book or author they want to recommend?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who is John Galt?

Anybody remember the old Ayn Rand novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED? All the billboards springing up, asking "Who is John Galt?"

I still see them occasionally. Saw two in the past few days, one as we headed south to Jacksonville, and one heading north on the way home.

Seems every few years somebody reads the book and goes gaga with her theories.

After mulling the story over for several years, it occurred to me that, sure, people deserve to assert their individualism but that doesn't mean society has to accept them. People have to eat but they don't have to spend their resources on paintings or literature or plays or whatever. If it comes down to bread and art, I know which one I'd choose. Seems to me that's a big fallacy in Rand's thinking, but maybe I'm wrong?

I'm not known for being the sharpest pencil in the holder!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

DIET

Okay, company's gone, time to get back to normal.

While they were here, I put back on four of the hard-lost eight pounds I've struggled the past few months to get off. I blame the unwanted addition on the homemade brownies and zucchini bread they brought. But it would have been rude not to eat it after they went to so much trouble, right?

So my guy put on two and a half pounds the past week. (He's lost over ten pounds on MY diet.) Not to mope, but it does seem so unfair.

Now I'm back to starving again and eating things I don't like. And grumpy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

RANEY

I just finished RANEY by Clyde Edgerton. I read it years ago when it first came out, but a friend recently brought me a copy and I enjoyed reading it as much this time as I did then.

Though it's a southern book, written in first person from the point of view of the heroine, it still shows how people from different upbringings and beliefs must compromise to make their marriage work. Very cute, sometimes hilarious, with the wife's character shining through loud and clear.

An enjoyable and easy read.

Friday, July 16, 2010

ABSENTMINDEDNESS

Okay, company's gone, condo's a lot quieter, cats are out of hiding, we're back to the normal routine.

The dermatologist gave my guy some medication to go on his head that I've been putting on for him. Tiny little bottle but lasted a month. Got to the end and set the empty bottle out to throw away.

My guy sees it. "Is this what you've been putting on me?"

"Yeah."

"This is eye drops."

"What!??"

Sure enough, it was. So I dug around, found the head medication and we're back to putting it on every day.

No wonder his rash didn't seem to be getting better.

Friday, July 9, 2010

GROCERY SHOPPING

Does anyone like it? Grocery shopping that is.

We went today, checked out, started to leave, and of course, we forgot one thing. The ice cream. Very important to some of us. So I had to go back, get it, and stand in line again.

The other day we went and the cart of a Winn Dixie worker setting up canned drinks blocked the aisle. I started to go around and down another aisle, but he saw me and said, "No, no, come on, there's room!" and bustled around to move his cart even though I said, "That's okay, I'll go around." Once he'd moved, I could hardly refuse to go past though, could I? And of course as I went past - because he made me! - cartons toppled down and drinks started spewing everywhere, especially on my guy trailing along behind as guys are prone to do in grocery stores.

Not through though. At checkout, the bagger put the blueberries on top of the cart. Of course when we started out, they fell. Blueberries rolled around the floor everywhere. Bagger scurried to get the broom. Blueberries refused to be swept up. My guy went to get more blueberries.

As we left that day, me still apologizing to the WD people (though I'm not sure I was completely to blame), a discouraged-looking lady sitting up front said, "Yeah, my day's been like that, too. I broke a jar of honey in the kitchen this morning. Covered the stove, cabinets, floor, everything. Biggest mess you ever saw."

Some days are diamonds, some days....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ITEM FROM LOCAL PAPER

Our police blotter is great. I love reading about all the strange people.

Police were called to a home where one man said another man stole something of his. The accused man said that the accuser, his brother, stole something of his first. Their mother said she was tired of dealing with her sons and wanted them both to move out of her house.

Don't know what happened but I don't think anybody got arrested. It's bad when your own mother throws you out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

THE BAD BOOK AFFAIR

This humorous mystery is by Ian Sansom and is one in a series about Israel Armstrong who mans the local mobile book library. He lives in Northern Ireland in a former chicken coop, wants to live in Brooklyn, is depressed, and fears (I quote from the book), "Maybe all English Jewish vegetarian mobile librarians were condemned to a life of headaches, weariness, and existential despair."

I really enjoy the guy. He muddles his way through while I keep rooting for him. I've read four books and will read more when they become available.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR

I just read this book by a couple writing as Nicci French, and I will read more. This one held my interest, from the opening moment when the Main Character looks around the room where her lover lies dead. You're not sure who her lover was right away but, as the story unfolds, there are several possibilities laid out in the backstory.

The way the backstory comes out is the main thing I didn't like. There's a current storyline called After (the death), then in different type a Before storyline, where what happened before the death is told. The After and Before shifts occur throughout the story, sometimes just a page or two and sometimes more. I found it hard to skip back and forth but others may not have that problem.

As I said, it was a good read, where new info kept developing throughout the story. Oh, and I did suspect what happened from the beginning which usually I don't do. I like mysteries but I'm usually clueless as to whodunnit or whathappened.

Monday, July 5, 2010

JULY 4TH AT THE VILLAGE

Company's gone and time to relax. We had a great time though. Tennis, swimming, walking on the beach and best of all, fireworks! Hope everyone else enjoyed their Fourth, too.

This photo is the crowd on the Casino lawn waiting for dark to fall so the fireworks can start at the pier.

Friday, July 2, 2010

HOUSEWORK

I hate, loathe and despise housework.

You spend all day washing, shining, polishing, dusting and for what? So you can do it all over again in much too short a time.

One good thing about having company is that it forces me to clean house. And after they leave, I can rest easy for a few days because, hey! my house is clean! At least till the furballs stick to my feet and the crumbs invite ants and that strange mold that grows on the toilet comes back.

Guess by now you've realized what I've been doing today. Sure does put me in a foul mood.

And if there are any pollyannas out there dying to chirp, "But I love a clean house! I work a few minutes each day and never have a dirty house!," don't. I don't want to hear it. I want everyone to be as miserable as me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

MYSTERY

I just finished MISTRESS OF ALDERLEY by Robert Barnard. It sounds like a period romance but is in fact one of the mysteries he does so well.

I like his stories. They go by fast and hold my interest. This one didn't have one of those solutions that surprise you, but that's okay. It's the getting to the murderer that's the fun part.