These two make me want to start singing “Sisters” from White Christmas….I’m going to do it, “Sisters! Sisters! There were never such devoted sisters….” Minerva on the left is definitely Rosemary Clooney. I love the was she’s staring down her schnoz at Vera Allen, I mean Jennie Weasley.
A tree blew down during a storm last week. It was dead and we were actually pricing having it taken down when thunder storms eliminated the issue for us. Blessedly, the storm was traveling in a rare southerly direction, thereby preserving the fence you see behind it.
You see that? That’s a weed. The picture is pretty, but the weed is not. It has stickers in addition to the little flowers and it is vining through my dwarf azaleas in a way that is not ok. Weeds, we have lots of them…
We also have lots of these. At the moment this picture was taken, this sweet little Live Oak Seed pod was still attached. I don’t think any of them are attached anymore and they’re covering every square inch of the place with their polleny presence. I don’t think “polleny” is a word, but I’m going to pretend it is.
And just when you think you can’t stand the pollen any more-not even one more minute…
“With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailing and half-sobs…”
The most eloquent dog ever!
Anyone want to join me?
I didn’t hate this book!…And I won’t lie, I was scared. Frankly, Crane and the Red Badge of Courage were a bit of a set back for me. I went on a binge of pleasure reading to clear my head. Mostly pulpy nonsense like Lee Child or Debbie MacComber. Book after book of pure fiction indulgence until I could again bring myself to step into the ring with literature of the masculine variety.
So I puzzled over where to go next and finally I picked a book based solely on a practical metric-word count. Because quite honestly, if this book had sucked it like the Badge of courage did, I needed it to be short.
But it didn’t! Hooray!
Robert Louis Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson in Scotland in 1850. He was a sickly child-pale, thin and perceived as eccentric. As he moved into his 20’s, he embraced Bohemian dress and cheap pubs and brothels. When Robert fell in love, it was with a married mother of three named Fanny de Grift Osbourne. He followed her to the United States where they fell into an affair that culminated in her divorce and their marriage in 1880. (I think I’m beginning to see a pattern in the personal lives of these guys. They’re a hot mess!)
In the summer of 1881, Stevenson was on holiday with Fanny (and children) in Scotland. Forced indoors by rainy weather, Stevenson and his stepson, Loyd, whiled away the hours creating and coloring a treasure map of an imaginary treasure island. Stevenson’s imagination was sparked and he began to write a short story based on the map to entertain the family. First published as a book on May 23, 1883, it was originally serialized in a children’s magazine between 1881–82 under the title Treasure Island or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola with Stevenson adopting the pseudonym, Captain George North.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the movie..so I won’t prattle on, but here’s a quick overview: The story is narrated by young Jim Hawkins. He’s likable and he’s not stupid. Yes, I liked him (as opposed to the dodo in the Red Badge of Courage). From the beginning of the tale, there is suspense and high adventure. A treasure map falls into Jim’s possession, and he soon finds himself at sea with bearings set for Treasure Island! Cool.
So here’s what I liked about it:
- There was an authenticity to Stevenson’s characters in the book, and he dealt with moral ambiguity on a very interesting level – especially considering it’s a “children’s book”.
- John Silver is a rascal of the first order! I love a villain that you find yourself liking consistently through the story, don’t you?
- Stevenson was a gifted writer. There were passages in the book I would stop and re-read because they were quite beautiful.
It was amazing to me, how much of what we consider to be typical “pirate lore” seemed to originate with this story. The songs, the parrot, the dialect…yes the dialect. Predictably, Stevenson utilized a heavy dialect for his characters throughout the text. Accurate and contextual? I’m sure. Written dialect just isn’t my thing. It was done well, but I could have used less of it.
When he wasn’t using dialect though, he was pretty awesome. I’ll leave you with a brief passage,
“I have never seen the sea quiet round Treasure Island. The sun might blaze overhead, the air be without a breath, the surface smooth and blue, but still these great rollers would be running along all the external coast, thundering and thundering by day and night; and I scarce believe there is one spot in the island where a man would be out of earshot of their noise.”
What are you reading? Share with me. Or better yet, join me in my literary adventure. Check out my 2013 Resolution and I’ll keep you posted on my next selection.
Have a great weekend!
New can be fun. It’s exciting to accomplish something that you weren’t able to do previously. It can also be difficult…frustrating…awkward…tedious. I’ve introduced a lot of new into my life as of late. Some of it voluntary. Some of it involuntary. Today, I’d like to talk about some of my voluntary newness!
Behold, the Garter Stitch! Totally new!
Behold, me knitting! I’ve been on Craftsy again (of course). The class is called Knit Lab. The instructor, Stefanie Japel, is pretty cool. I love the format, and she’s a natural teacher. It wasn’t easy for me, however. The sticks have been a challenge. They feel awkward compared to the a crochet hook. And it takes for-ev-er….I’ll press on, however. It’s bound to feel natural eventually. Right?
I’ve been having to travel quite a bit recently for work, and my sweet, wonderful husband has been taking care of the girls full-time. So one phone call, he says, I’m worried about one of your Barred Rocks. I don’t know if the other chickens are pecking her or if she’s sick, but she looks terrible.
Luckily, I had noticed that one of the girls was shedding a lot of feathers the weekend before. So I felt relatively confident when I told him not to worry about it. I was pretty sure one of them had started her molt. As long as she wasn’t acting sick or bleeding, “Don’t sweat it, sugar lips.” Sure enough, I arrived home to this sweet little victim of nature.
Totally makes sense. Jenny, Hermione and Minerva are full-feathered, laying and content. Luna goes into a winter molt. Poor dear-she’s weathering it well, though.
Always antisocial, now she seems a little more so. She’s stopped laying-who can blame her. This process looks exhausting.
I can’t help but wonder when the others will succumb to this annual ritual of renewal. They’re all the same age (almost a year old) so I would think, very soon. They’ve been such rock star chickens! Their egg production didn’t even really slow across the shortest days of winter. Superstars! And although they are a little freaky and stinky, they’re always interesting and sweet. Molting, not revolting…