Saturday, May 30, 2009

It is hard to believe but Steve and I will have been married for 7 years at 5:30 this afternoon. I am so bad with numbers and dates that he chose May 30 (5/30) at 5:30 so I would remember our anniversary date. And, he proposed on Thanksgiving so I don't have to remember a particular date. What a wild ride it has been from the economic crisis in Houston that sent us to the U.S. Virgin Islands to try island living (not to my liking) and now in horse country with the hopes of moving to Florida soon. Just waiting for the house to sell but we are in no big hurry as are some of the folks trying to sell before they default on their mortgage. Summers are a wonderful season in KY so I have no problem with waiting for the right buyer as long as we have to. There certainly hasn't been a dull moment since we met in 2001 and I thought I'd lost him before we had a chance to develop a relationship when he was supposed to be in the World Trade Center but, thankfully, missed his plane. Our guardian angels have been working over time for both of us.

We are going to dinner at the lovely Merrick Inn here in Lexington but I won't be able to wear cute little sandals due to the wound between my big and second toe. Who would have thought to look for moles between your toes? I would not have had I not read an article in a woman's magazine about skin cancer. I read anything I see on skin cancer as I have a not so lovely scar on my back due to the removal of a cancerous mole and surrounding tissue last summer. Well, the scar between my toes may mess with wearing my favorite style sandals, but two scars on my back certainly curtail any thoughts of a low back dress tonight! During my annual check up yesterday he found another mole on my back that had to be removed. Hopefully he took enough tissue around it this time that he doesn't have to go back in for more like he did last year. So ladies - have your significant other check your back and you check those odd places like between your toes, your belly button, and under your arms. The "bad" kind of moles tend to hide there. Am I paying for frying myself in baby oil as a teen? I am hoping the 15 years in Alaska where I rarely was in the direct sun will save me from too many more scars.

I finished up an article for Library Media Connection on new YA authors and their debut novels. which will be in the October issue. What fun research! One of the novels I read had started as the author's master's thesis and she won a writing contest sponsored by Canadian Orca Book Publishers who also publish the wonderful Soundings titles - high interest subjects/themes for teens with low reading levels. However, Leanne Lieberman's Gravity is not one of the easy read titles and it certainly doesn't let you forget about it once you close the book. You feel like you have vicariously spent time with Ellie Gold as she comes to terms with her own sexuality within the very confining rules of her religion and culture - her family is Orthodox Jewish. Ellie's older sister can't wait to leave home for college but Ellie finds security in her faith and the rituals that go with it. Then she spends part of the summer with her non-Orthodox grandmother at a lake outside of Toronto and Ellie discovers that the barely clad body of the neighbor, Lindsay, is more interesting than the frogs science-minded Ellie has been observing. Ellie is infatuated with Lindsay and when she's back in Toronto she walks by Lindsay's school in the hopes they will "accidentally" bump into each other. Before Ellie realizes what is happening she is in a sexual relationship with Lindsay, forcing Ellie to examine her attraction to females and how it impacts her faith.

One of my favorite children's authors is Barbara Joosse, whose name you may recognize from her Mama, Do You Love Me? with a lyrical text complimented beautifully by the Arctic set illustrations of Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. This book is a delight to read aloud as is In the Night Garden in which three little girls pretend to be different animals - a bear, a sled dog and a whale - as they play outside as evening sets in and it is time to go to bed. Elizabeth Sayles' illustrations, lush with pastel shades of blue and purple, perfectly compliment the simple text as three distinctly different little girls (one blonde, one in dreads, and one with short black hair in pigtails)"Rraaaaow, Haaoooo, and Eeeee" as a bear, dog, and whale as they prepare for bed. I cannot wait to read this one with my granddaughter McKinley and let her do the roaring, howling, and whale song along with me. Barbara Joosee will always hold a special place in my heart as she went out of her way to be emotionally supportive to me after Mic died. It was as if she had written him as a young child into her I Love You the Purplest where two siblings, one fierce (my Mary-although both book characters are boys) and one shy (my Mic) want to know who their mother loves best. I could not have found a better way to tell my children how my love for each of them is as individual and unique as they are. She has a gift for writing books that we parents need to share with our little ones - she helps us say, through her stories, the very things for which we can't find words of our own.

While I was working on this blog entry, Steve came home with a wonderful light lime green floppy brimmed hat for me with UVA protection so I can still ride with him in his car with the top down. And a picture of horses racing in the snow - to remind us of the first year we watched races at Keeneland - the last race was in white out conditions! My presents for him have a Florida theme (a solar lighthouse, a scaled to size sailboat to sit next to it, and a small potted palm tree) whereas his is Kentucky themed right down to a matching stuffed horse and key ring whose crazy sounding neighs indicates they got into some fermented oats! I'm going to wear the tiny, but very detailed, horse earrings tonight. :-) I am sure our next 7 years together will be as full of fun and adventures as our last almost 8 together has been.