Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hadn't realized how it had been since I posted! Steve left for Orlando on the 6th and I have taken advantage of the time alone to catch up on work and recuperate from the surgery to have more tissue removed from my back. I went in on the 5th and Steve left the next day so they had to put a water proof bandage on the incision. Internal and external stitches so I hope they took enough tissue this time so that the second biopsy will come back negative. Been an interesting week as I still can't put a whole lot of pressure on my back so it makes sleeping difficult. I went in on Thursday to have the bandage changed and the incision checked. She put another water proof bandage on it but that came off yesterday. I got a fairly good look at it in the mirror - let's just say I won't be wearing low back dresses anymore. Luckily we have some very large bandages and I was able to, with a mirror in one hand the the bandage in the other, get it on top of the incision, but just barely. Would need an arm about 6" longer to have done it well.

Woke up at 5 a.m. as I crashed at 8 p.m. last night even though I had slept from 3:00 to 7:00. Guess I have been really over doing it. Spent from 8 a.m. until Mary called me about 2:30 working around the house. I laid down as my feet were sore while I talked to her and realized just how tired I was. I was getting sleepy while she talked so decided on a nap. Woke up at 7:00, ate a big chunk of watermelon for dinner and crawled back into bed. Sophie and I read Stephen King's Duma Key for a bit. I haven't read a King novel in years, but I am enjoying this one immensely. No "f word" every 2 sentences like some of them. I have listened to a couple of King's novels and although I tend to skip over all the profanity in his books when reading them, you sure can't when listening to them. The main character, Edgar, is a wealthy contractor who loses his right arm and almost dies in an accident on a building site when a crane basically smashes his truck like a tin can. He also has brain damage that results in severe anger and the inability to find the right words, especially in times of stress. His wife files for divorce and in an attempt to deal with his loss of life and the lifestyle he has known for decades he rents a house on a remote Florida key. Duma Key calls to people with certain gifts and Edgar discovers that his phantom arm can help him draw stunningly eerie, yet beautiful paintings. I am at the point where he has just met the aging Elizabeth, who owns most of the key, and the "once a lawyer" recluse who takes care of her. It is going to get creepier I am sure, but I couldn't keep my eyes open and crashed.

Rather than creepy - utterly delightful is a good descriptor - is Maryrose Wood's How I Found the Perfect Dress The covers on both of the Wood's novels about now 17-year-old Morgan are eye catching. The bike tour crush, Colin, from the first book, Why I Let My Hair Grow Out has come to the U.S. to attend a robotics competion, but he is so exhausted he barely can keep his eyes open to do his part in creating a robot, let alone spend time with Morgan. Colin has made it very clear that until she is older their relationship is not going to be anything other than a friendship, but the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Morgan, on another visit to the faerie kingdom (this time to a faerie dress maker and a Leprechaun's workshop), discovers that the faeries are enchanting anyone who cares about Morgan. Poor Colin spends his nights dancing at the faerie ball and wakes up more exhausted than when he went to sleep. Colin does not believe in faeries so it is up to Morgan to fix the problem with the help of a very grouchy Leprechaun, who wants a date to the faerie ball. Problem is - there aren't any female Leprechauns. Morgan decides that a female lawn gnome (yes - she can communicate with them) is about the right size. But it isn't going to be easy to get Colin to believe he is enchanted, let alone put on the ... "interesting" looking magical boots that will break the spell. I was right there with Morgan during the whole escapade and loved every moment of it, even her walk into the fountain (gate to the faery world) at the Junior Prom.

On the children's front, I have been indulging myself with the reprint editions of Jim Arnosky's All About series. Scholastic recently reprinted these books in paperback. I have the ones on manatees, frogs, alligators, sharks, and owls in front of me. When I was working in the Montessori library on St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the guy who had been the janitor/maintenance man there for a number of years told me that he would spend his free time in the library reading books from the nonfiction section. He was a fount of information on lots of things from his hours spent with the books. I agree with Gary as to the value of reading children's NF. I may not want to read an adult level books on any of the above animals, but I do enjoy reading the children's books as authors like Arnosky offer wonderful color illustrations along with a text that is easy to read. Factoids in smaller print highlight the illustrations, offering more information beyond the narrative style text . Did you know that baby manatee suckle from the mother's armpit? That was a new tidbit of information for me. I love manatees so this is the first of the series I revisited. Although I would buy the hardback copies for a school library, this series is the perfect gift for elementary age boys and girls who prefer to read nonfiction over fiction. At $5.99 a piece these are affordable for home collections. Hand these to your kids on the way to the beach and they may be so busy reading and viewing Arnosky's cool illustrations that they won't be asking, "Are we there yet?"

All for now - I heard the newspaper just hit the front stoop so I am headed back to bed with the newspaper and the early news on TV.