Thursday, April 27, 2017

Quote du jour/Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.

   Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730–1809)

The character Lionel Hardcastle used these words in As Time Goes By. He has been told by the doctor that his father (who has just married at the age of 85) has only a year to live. Jean asks if he will tell his father. Lionel says, no, and says these words. Then he says, "let them have their crowded hour. Every minute of it."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Moving??

I know that some of you have left Blogspot and moved to Wordpress.

I have so many concerns - the main one being will all my content come with me, including comments and photographs? This blog is a record of the past ten years of my life, and I would be so upset to lose it.

I know that some people leave the old blog up, and just start a new one, but I don't want to do that.

I haven't had any particular problems with blogspot over the years. But now, I can use only Safari to write posts and leave comments. Overnight I wasn't signed in on Chrome. I've never been able to sign in via Firefox.

I can't control my fonts now and it drives me crazy. The look, the presentation of my blog is very important to me.

I gather there are two Wordpresses - one is free, and one you pay for. As it is now, I pay Google $20 per year. Also, there is something to do with my own domain. I think that means that the content would be mine. With Blogspot, they have the power to delete my blog. I don't mind paying if it means it is mine.

I would so appreciate any help you can give me.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quote du jour/Grandchildren and Grandparents - anonymous

Grandchildren are a grandparent's link to the future. Grandparents are the child's link to the past.


Pop with Campbell Walker and Hazel Nina


Nana with Indy Thomas

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Girl - The Temptations

This song was popular when I was still in high school, and I so loved it. Many years later, when our little Margaret arrived from South Korea, this is the song we sang to her:



I love the words, and think it is a wonderful poem. It was played this past weekend at our niece's wedding, and I was so happy to be with our grown-up little girl.


And here she is with her dear Matty, and their little "my girl."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

True Love Ways - sung by Buddy Holly; and sung by Peter and Gordon

The plane crash in 1959 which killed the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Richie Valens was one of the early sadnesses of my life. I was a few weeks from being 11 and was truly upset by the loss of three singers I greatly enjoyed. 

I never heard Buddy Holly sing True Love Ways. It was recorded only four months before he died. The first time I heard it was when Peter and Gordon sang it in the mid-1960s. I loved the song, and thought it achingly beautiful. I still do. Many years later, I learned that Buddy Holly had written it.

I think it is wonderful, and I offer it as a songwriting as poetry posting.  First you may hear Buddy Holly singing it, and then Peter and Gordon.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Will You Go, Lassie, Go? - sung by The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem

Here is another song for poetry month. This is also known as Wild Mountain Thyme, and Purple Heather. You may read about its origins here, and see the long list of people who have recorded it. I first heard it in the 1970s sung by the wonderful Jean Redpath. I didn't even know what thyme was then! I can't find a video of her singing it live, but came upon this perfect, perfect version by The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem.  It brings tears to my eyes. There's just something in a song like this that goes right to my heart. Please do sing along.



Oh, the summer time is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

I will build my love a bower
Near yon pure crystal fountain
And on it I will pile
All the flowers of the mountain
Will you go lassie, go?

And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

If my true love she were gone
I would surely find another
Where wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

Oh, the summer time is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather
Will you go lassie, go?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One For My Baby - sung by Frank Sinatra

Here's another post offering poetry in songwriting. If pressed, I think I might say that One For My Baby, written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, is my favorite song. And Sinatra's vocalizing is sublime. The stage seems to disappear, and we 'see' that guy talking to the bartender. Do you suppose people still do this - talk over their troubles with bartenders?




Here are the words. You'll see Sinatra changed a couple in the live version.


It's quarter to three, there's no one in the place except you and me
So, set 'em up, Joe, I got a little story you oughta know
We're drinkin', my friend, to the end of a brief episode
Make it one for my baby and one more for the road
I got the routine, so drop another nickel in the machine
I'm feelin' so bad, wish you'd make the music easy and sad
I could tell you a lot, but you've got to be true to your code
Just make it one for my baby and one more for the road
You'd never know it but buddy, I'm a kind of poet
And I got a lot of things I'd like to say
And when I'm gloomy, you simply gotta listen to me
Till it's talked away
Well that's how it goes and Joe, I know your gettin' pretty anxious to close
And thanks for the cheer, I hope you didn't mind my bendin' your ear
But this torch that I found must be drowned or it soon might explode
So, make it one for my baby and one more for the road
The long, it's so long, the long, very long

Monday, April 3, 2017

Who Knows Where the Time Goes - Sandy Denny

April is poetry month and though I may not post every day, I will write as often as possible. I plan to share poetry in songwriting. The first is Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where the Time Goes.



Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Quote du jour/Samuel Taylor Coleridge



'Tis a month before the month of May, and the spring comes slowly up this way.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge




Coleridge's words are apt as I look out my front door this afternoon.


We've lost some snow since the last snowstorm, but it is coming down strong and steady today. Michael lives an hour south of us and they got 8 inches overnight. March has been consistently cold with intermittent snowfalls and a blizzard mid-month. Those red-winged blackbirds haven't come back. There is no sight or sound of robins or woodcocks. We've had some sunshine but the wind has been cold. Three deer come by each evening for their daily meal. The usual winter birds are still eating heartily at the feeders.

But this won't last. A few warm, sunny days and we will have forgotten all about snow!

Friday, March 24, 2017

An old, yellowed newspaper clipping

Many years ago I read something my mother had cut out of a newspaper. I've thought about it occasionally and wondered if I still had it. I've been going through a tub of photos and memorabilia lately, and was so pleased to come upon the clipping.

If you are not religious, please do not be put off with the fact it is a prayer. The words are most meaningful, and truly are a guide to living as we get older. There is great wisdom and humor.


I looked it up on the internet and found out that it is a seventeenth century anonymous nun's prayer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Reading

Spring begins tomorrow at 5.29 am my time, and this is the book I plan to begin reading.


I've read the first three and so loved them. Here are book reports for the others, if you want to know who The Penderwick family is.

1. The Penderwicks

2. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

3. The Penderwicks at Point Muette

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Four and Twenty...

Blackbirds! The red-winged blackbirds came today when we'd just had a big snowstorm. They ate from the feeders, and the food spread on the ground. 

These aren't the world's best pictures because I had the zoom on and they were taken through the front door windows, but you get the idea. I counted two or three times and got 24. What do you think? Do they travel in groups of 24? Why does the old rhyme say 24? 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

What I Learned From TV - March 9


From the British television series, Born and Bred. So very worth buying from Amazon UK. If you are in the US, you need to have a DVD player that plays shows that were made in Britain. There are some listed here.

The younger doctor says to his father, also a doctor.



"Oh, Dad, it's sometimes all so difficult."

Father: "Nobody ever said life was easy. Frustrating maybe. Exciting, sometimes. Heartbreaking. Ridiculous. Never easy. But always worth it."

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Today's picture/Chickens at the bird feeders

This warm weather is bringing the chickens outdoors again, and they were delighted to find that we are feeding the birds again! They often eat right alongside the ground feeders - mourning doves, blue jays, sparrows, and crows.


I had to take the photo through the door window. It is on a bit of a zoom. Not very clear, but you get the idea. There are a few more chickens who haven't stopped by the new feeding station yet, but I expect they will in time.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Today's video/The Fighter - Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood

Did you see this on the Grammys? I LOVE this song, and I've ordered the record Ripcord. I bet you can't stay in your chair while you listen! (Sorry there's an ad)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Old sayings

One of the things that goes along with the shift from agricultural to urban in this country is that the old sayings most likely make no sense to someone who has never been in a farm or rural environment. Take this product, for instance.



A lot has changed since 1886.  I'm glad they decided to keep the slogan on the can for old time's sake. What it means is that when chicks first come out of the eggs, it is a little while before they 'scratch' - before they begin to use their claws to rake the bedding material. Chickens spend a lot of their time scratching up the soil for food, and probably that first scratching is an innate knowledge of what they need to do to survive.

So, for a product that promises not to scratch your sink, this is the perfect saying. There's a nice page about the company here.

I've read that more people in cities and bigger towns are raising chickens now, so maybe the saying will be better understood in the populace. I certainly didn't know what it meant until we began keeping chickens all those years ago. Incidentally, we have new chickens arriving in May. I've written about the experience here on the blog.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Today's pictures/Icicles

Not the world's best photographs but top to bottom are the icicles out the north window. In the last one, you can see that they are touching the ground. It took three pictures to get them in because they were so long!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

The death of Stuart McLean

Tom and I are so sad that Stuart McLean has died. We have spent some of our best times listening to the Vinyl Cafe, entering into the lives of Dave and Morley and the kids. His voice was so perfect. He told stories that seemed as real as could be. He seemed like a friend who just happened to be on the radio. "Come and get me, copper" is a phrase that sets us laughing every time someone in the family says it.

There is an obituary here, and amazing social media tributes here. He will be sorely missed in this world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today's picture - The garden gnome a week later


We've had a little snow since last Wednesday when I put up the blog header photo of the gnome!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quote du jour/Anna Quindlen

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.
How Reading Changed My Life
Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Today's video/My snowboarding son!

My son Michael works at a ski/snowboard resort, and a co-worker took this video of him.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Today's picture/Cartoon from The Oldie

As I was reading my Oldie magazine this morning, I saw a cartoon that I wanted to post to the blog. I wrote to the cartoonist, Crowden Satz, and asked about using it. For a small charge, he optimized it for me so it would look good here. I think it is just the best cartoon.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie

Taken at the Flood - book 27 in the Hercule Poirot series 
by Agatha Christie
mystery 1948
kindle 
finished 1/16/17  







The book cover picture comes from my one of my Agatha Christie reference books, 


 which has this to say:


Agatha uses the speech in her epigraph:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

It has been ages since I've read an Agatha book, and the old familiar feeling came back as soon as I began; that feeling of ah, I can completely sit back and relax because my reading is in the hands of a master. She really can tell a tale better than almost anyone. As they say, even her worst writing is better than most people's good writing. Her intelligence, her good sense when it comes to characters, her settings all combine to make a great reading experience. 

Another of my reference books 



says that the bombing in the book comes from the bombing of her own house in London during the war. The houses right around hers were "completely flattened," while hers suffered only external damage. Most of the contents were fine. Just this kind of randomness happens in Taken at the Flood. The twenty-four year old Rosaleen married the sixty-two year old Gordon Cloade and two weeks later a blast 
blew the basement in and ripped off the roof. First floor practically wasn't touched. Six people in the house. Three servants: married couple and a housemaid, Gordon Cloade, his wife and the wife's brother. They were all down in the basement except the wife's brother...
The only survivors were the wife and her brother who come to the family estate in Warmsley Vale. Gordon did not make a new will in those two weeks of married life, so his family who were to be the beneficiaries now receive nothing because his old will is 'revoked by his marriage.' I was amazed at this law - that the wife automatically got the money. What hardships this placed on the family. 
The rich, childless man had taken all his relatives completely under his wing. ... Yes, they had all depended on Gordon Cloade. Not that any of the family had been spongers or idlers. Jeremy Cloade was senior partner in a firm of solicitors, Lionel Cloade was in practice as a doctor. But behind the workaday life was the comforting assurance of money in the background. There was never any need to stint or to save. The future was assured.
A stranger comes to town saying that perhaps the first husband is still alive, which would of course make Rosaleen's second marriage invalid, and the money would all go to the family. Or if she died, the same thing would occur.

I read this for the 


and I took special note of life in the third year after the end of the war. The young Wren who had done overseas service is thrilled to come home again ... for about three days. 
And already a curious dissatisfied restlessness was creeping over her. It was all the same - almost too much all the same - the house and Mums and Rowley and the farm and the family. The thing that was different was herself....
And her mother's life
Except for a rather unreliable woman who came four mornings a week, Mrs. Marchmont was alone in the house, struggling with cooking and cleaning. ...   The small but adequate fixed income which had kept them going comfortably before the war was now almost halved by taxation. Rates, expenses, wages had all gone up. 
A farmer says
"I'm only just keeping my head above water as it is. And what with not knowing what this damned Government is going to do next - hampered at every turn - snowed under with forms, up to midnight trying to fill them in sometimes - it's too much for one man."
There is mention of an 'ill will' and 'ill feeling' that is everywhere. 
On railways and buses and in shops and amongst workers and clerks and even agricultural laborers. 
The book offers such a strong sense of English life in 1948. The atmosphere is almost a character in the story. The characters' actions and reactions are in response to the social, monetary, and political situation of the post-war years. I really enjoyed the book and learned so much.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Quote du jour - Kalidasa

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn! 
Look to this Day! 
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
 In its brief course lie all the 
Verities and Realities of your Existence. 
The Bliss of Growth, 
The Glory of Action, 
The Splendor of Beauty; 
For Yesterday is but a Dream, 
And To-morrow is only a Vision; 
But To-day well lived makes 
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, 
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope. 
Look well therefore to this Day! 
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Kalidasa, Indian sanskrit poet and dramatist - 5th century AD

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Crofter & The Laird by John McPhee

The Crofter & The Laird
by John McPhee
nonfiction 1969
print
finished 1/19/17

The Crofter and The Laird has been in our library for decades. I’ve often looked at it and wondered if I’d like to read it, but I’ve never actually picked it up. 

It was published in 1969, 1970. The reason for the two dates is that it was published in The New Yorker magazine first, and then was ‘developed with the editorial counsel of William Shawn, Robert Bingham, and C.P. Crow.’ 

The author begins the book with
The Scottish clan that I belong to - or would belong to if it were now anything more than a sentimental myth - was broken a great many generations ago by a party of MacDonalds, who hunted down the last chief of my clan, captured him, refused him mercy, saying that a man who had never shown mercy should not ask for it, tied him to a standing stone, and shot him.
That standing stone was on the Scottish island of Colonsay. McPhee brings his wife and four daughters over to live there for a time. He weaves together the past and the present, teaching us local history and showing us what life is like. At the time of the book there were 138 people on the island, and today there are 135 people. Amazing that fifty years later the population is the same especially because the crofters of the late sixties feared the young would leave and never come back. Some must have stayed, and perhaps others have moved there. There are a lot of activities that weren’t going on in the time of the book, for example festivals, and honey production. There is still a laird, and I found an article where he helped save the only pub five years ago.   

There is a tremendous amount of gossip that goes on. The author is told there is no mental illness on Colonsay, probably due to the degree of gossiping.
‘There is apparently a point at which gossip can become so intensely commonplace that it is not only beyond hurting anone but is, in fact, a release.' 
McPhee shares some of this gossip with the reader, using a great device whereby he notes the words of several people, listed one after another without mentioning anyone’s name. This particular topic went on for two pages.
“Donald Garvard is generous man. He would lend his last hundred pounds.”
“He comes in like a bit of a breeze.”
“He’s a hail fellow.”
“He has a strong, Highland sense of humor."

If you have an interest in Scottish island life from almost fifty years ago, this is your book. And if it isn’t a topic that you are particularly interested in, you may find yourself drawn into the book. I so enjoyed it. This is my second choice for 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Some videos which are all about the deep thoughts we have in our twenties

When we were in our twenties, Tom remarked on the fact that we now had adult memories; that we could look back and see a past. That doesn’t happen in your teens. It seems to be a perception, a knowledge that occurs when one is a twenty-something. 

My favorite Pink Floyd song tells of this experience, and I happened to see that Roger Waters, who wrote the lyrics, came to the realization when he was 28 or 29. 
This song is about how time can slip by, but many people do not realise it until it is too late. Roger Waters got the idea when he realised he was no longer preparing for anything in life, but was right in the middle of it. 
"Time"

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away, across the fields
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell


One of my very early posts spotlighted the first Keane album. A song from it that expresses this same twenties experience is Somewhere Only We Know.

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river, and it made me complete

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go?
So why don't we go?

This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know?


Adele’s latest album 25 is described here and there’s that same theme. 

"Million Years Ago"

I only wanted to have fun
Learning to fly learning to run
I let my heart decide the way
When I was young
Deep down I must have always known
That this would be inevitable
To earn my stripes I'd have to pay
And bare my soul

I know I'm not the only one
Who regrets the things they've done
Sometimes I just feel it's only me
Who can't stand the reflection that they see
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air, I miss my friends
I miss my mother, I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago

When I walk around all of the streets
Where I grew up and found my feet
They can't look me in the eye
It's like they're scared of me
I try to think of things to say
Like a joke or a memory
But they don't recognize me now
In the light of day

I know I'm not the only one
Who regrets the things they've done
Sometimes I just feel it's only me
Who never became who they thought they'd be
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air I miss my friends
I miss my mother I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago
A million years ago


This post was prompted by an Ed Sheeran video I watched this morning. I thought, oh my gosh, this really is a ‘thing.’ It is a life truth that when we’ve had a few years of living, we look back to see where we came from and what shaped us and how the time goes by. 

"Castle on the Hill"

When I was six years old I broke my leg
I was running from my brother and his friends
And tasted the sweet perfume of the mountain grass I rolled down
I was younger then, take me back to when I

Found my heart and broke it here
Made friends and lost them through the years
And I’ve not seen the roaring fields in so long, I know I’ve grown
But I can’t wait to go home.

I’m on my way 
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill

Fifteen years old and smoking hand-rolled cigarettes
Running from the law through the back fields and getting drunk with my friends
Had my first kiss on a Friday night, I don’t reckon I did it right
But I was younger then, take me back to when

We found weekend jobs, when we got paid
We’d buy cheap spirits and drink them straight
Me and my friends have not thrown up in so long, oh how we’ve grown
But I can’t wait to go home

I’m on my way
Driving at 90 down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill

One friend left to sell clothes
One works down by the coast
One had two kids but lives alone
One’s brother overdosed
One’s already on his second wife
One’s just barely getting by
But these people raised me
And I can’t wait to go home

And I’m on my way, I still remember
These old country lanes
When we did not know the answers
And I miss the way you make me feel, it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill


Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey


The Franchise Affair - book 3 in the Alan Grant series (though he is barely in this one)
by Josephine Tey
mystery 1948
kindle
finished 1/21/17 


I have never read a book like The Franchise Affair
Here is the plot. A young teenage girl goes to the police and tells them that she has been kidnapped and beaten by two women, a woman in her forties and her mother. She describes their house and grounds in great and perfect detail. The women deny everything. Can you imagine if someone accused you of such a thing and ‘knew’ your home inside out? What a horror. The reader doesn't know who is telling the truth and who isn’t for a while. There is a wonderful small town lawyer who has lived a placid, easy life with a doting aunt. Suddenly he is swept up in the case and off on the adventure of his life. Alan Grant, the Scotland yard sleuth in the first two books in the series makes very few appearances. I guess that’s about all I’ll say except that this is one great story, and you don’t need to read the others in the series first.

I read it for the Birth Year Reading Challenge 2017


and the Read Scotland 2017 challenge



though I was going to read it anyway because I am planning to read all the books in the Alan Grant series, and Tey's non-series books as well. She was a very good writer who died too early. Her real name was Elizabeth MacKintosh. You may read more about her here and here. I've just bought a recent biography of her by Jennifer Morag Henderson. My thanks go out to my blogging friend Cath for introducing the author to me. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Little Secrets cookies

This is a posting which references two earlier blog entries I've written. One is a a  'product placement' piece on Little Secrets candy. You may read it here.

The second entry is a chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Sugar in the Raw company. You may read it here.

A while ago I read someone's post on cookies made with M&Ms. Since then I've been thinking of making them with Little Secrets. I used the chocolate chip recipe just substituting Little Secrets for chocolate chips. I bought several varieties, and am making them once a week now.

Hazel Nina began going three mornings a week to a Montessori school in town. One of the days is a day Margaret works and we take care of her. So Pop brings her to school and when we pick her up and go to either her house or ours, we give her what we call 'Tuesday cookies' and milk. It's a fun little ritual.

This week I used the Dark Chocolate Raspberry variety. It was just the best feeling to not be using the horrible, cancer causing artificial colors that are in M&Ms.


I make a couple without candy for Lucy, and here she is waiting for her cookie.


And of course Hazel thinks they are great!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Today's poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Library in the Garret
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Books, books, books!
I had found the secret of a garret-room
Piled high with cases in my father's name;
Piled high, packed large, - where, creeping in and out
Among the giant fossils of my past,
Like some small nimble mouse between the ribs
Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
The first book first. And how I felt it beat
Under my pillow, in the morning's dark,
An hour before the sun would let me read!
My books! ...

The poem was in the introduction to this book, which I borrowed from my daughter.


There is a book for each of the 365 days. I think I'm going to really enjoy this. I've already peeked ahead and seen many books I've never read.

The year began with Zadie Smith's White Teeth.


From the introduction:
Think of this as a tasting menu. It is my dearest hope that each taste will send you scurrying to your bookseller or library so you can read (or reread) that book, cover to cover.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Today's video/American Nights by Plain White T's

Here's a fun video by Plain White T's from a couple years ago. I might have to buy the album!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Read Scotland 2017 Challenge

I have these five books about Scotland


on my shelves, and some of them have been there for a long time. Year after year goes by, and I don't read them. So I thought I'd sign up for Peggy Ann's Read Scotland 2017 Challenge.


All the books are set on the Hebrides, and all but the Ann Cleeves are nonfiction. I own one other book set in Scotland, written by the late Iain Banks,


and I just may read this one as well, even though I've read it twice already. I wrote a little bit about it in a book journal before I had a blog.

The book is subtitled In Search Of The Perfect Dram.This book will appeal to - the whisky fan, the fan of author Banks' fiction work, and then me, who is neither one. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was like sitting in the living room (or at a bar!) with him. The writing is rambling, his thoughts seem to be written as he thinks them. What I like especially is his passion- for life, for Scotland, for whisky, for cars, for music, for fun.

It is time I read these books, and this is the perfect way to get myself to do so. I am reading at the 1-5 level called Totie Wee. You may join here at her blog, or on her Goodreads page here

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Sally/January 7


If you love Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, or Endeavour, then I want to direct you to a blog that is all about them. You may find it here. Christopher Sullivan does an amazing job of sharing all one could ever hope to know about these television shows, from reviews of individual episodes including artistic, literary, and musical references, to up to the minute articles about, or communications from, the actors. He also has a youtube channel which you may find here.

Tomorrow night on ITV the fourth series of Endeavour begins. I'll be watching via TunnelBear. It will eventually be on PBS in the US, but I've recently learned from Christopher's blog that we lose about ten minutes of the show over here. After I've seen the shows, I buy the DVDs from PBS, but they say "Full UK-Length Edition."

So that's it for the first Sally of the new year. I wanted to spotlight this one site in case fans of the shows don't know about it. For those on Facebook, he has a page there, too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2017


Last year I joined a little challenge offered by my PEI friend here. I read not one book. It was a great idea, but ... . I've looked at a few of the challenges offered this year, but steeled myself to be realistic and not sign up. But this one, offered by another blogging friend seems like something I might be able to participate in, and have some success with. Plus it sounds like great fun. You may read more about it here, and perhaps some of you will sign up.

I had read two books in the Alan Grant series by Josephine Tey last year. The next one in line was published in my birth year, so that will go on the list. Also, there are a few Agatha Christie books I haven't yet read, and one of them was also published then. And a year ago I bought Uncle Dynamite by PG Wodehouse, and discovered to my delight that it too is a birth year publication. So, right off the bat, there are three books for me.

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie
Uncle Dynamite by PG Wodehouse

Oh, and if you're wondering what year - it is 1948. Yup, next year is my big 7-0! How did that happen?

Anyhow, I am looking forward to this challenge, and I thank JG for offering it.