Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yellow tree has bouquets for flowers

My neighbor has two of these fantastic trees, one about 15 feet tall and you can tell they like it because there is a younger one about 10 feet tall, which I imagine they planted a few years later. I remembered to bring my camera with me on a walk so I can share with you. I wonder what kind of tree this is; the leaves look rather like feathery ferns. A friend on Facebook answered this question for me, it is a yellow flowered jacaranda.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bits and Bobs: Lipstick, Dog and Widow

Sometimes I have no unified blog post theme so here are three bits and bobs for a post.

These Chihuahua floor mats for my car make me smile, and as a widow I count each smile as a blessing. Aren't they cute? Yes, the painting looks like Bounce.

I have started to wear lipstick and lip gloss with SPF protection from the sun's rays. I bought an Avon lipstick with 15 SPF online in a pretty shade "Mad for Mauve". When I see Mauve as a color I often like the color on me. I understand that most people do not put on any SPF covering for their lips, which is a mistake. I also bought a pack of 3 Kiss My Face SPF 25 clear lip gloss and gave one to each of my sons.

Another attractive lip gloss (see above) is by Sheer Shine and each shade has a nice sheen to it. No. 5 is clear and No.22 is coral pink. These are SPF 25. No I have no connection with Avon or the other companies, I just like these products and hope to inspire y'all to care for your lips.

I am reading (obsessed with) lots of books on widowhood and people getting through tough times, and this one is hard to put down. Carol Joyce Oates wrote a memoir "A Widow's Story: A Memoir" about when her dear husband Ray died and the days and the six months after. She is so honest about her emotions and I am experiencing surprisingly many of the same thoughts.  I see amazing similarities between us: she met Ray at the UW student union where they were graduate students; some years later I was a grad student on that same campus and spent many an hour at the student union. Will and I met at the UCB student union. They were together 47 years like William and I. And lots more. She was so distraught she gathered a stash of pills, imagining taking them. I have not had that thought but went through many of the same things. I have not read her novels but wow, this book is one I could not put down. Three differences between us are that my children, faith community (church friends) and seeing a counselor are huge helps to me and Oates lacked these and yet survived in her own admirable way. No matter how you look at it, widowhood is bleak, but her book shows how she made it through. I thank her for writing it, it gives a ray of hope to me and to others who read it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

More of my favorite books plus the two I wrote

In July I posted on my blog a list of my Top 20 Favorite Books.
That was hard to winnow the number down to 20.
Here are a few more favorites that came close to being in that favored 20.

The Sisters (a biography of the Mitford sisters) by Mary S. Lovell.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser. When reading books about Tudor times I remember "Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived" to help me recall the lives and fates of Henry VIII's wives.

Yikes, Jan Karon's Mitford series about the kindly Father Tim did not reach my top twenty either.I love each book in this series, best to begin with the first one, "At Home in Mitford".

Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. My favorite of hers thus far and I adore these covers of the new Virago editions.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. I suggest reading "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" first, Jenny's first book. The author explores her lifelong battle with mental illness with humorous writing.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Uplifting true story of Corrie being in a concentration camp because her family sheltered Jews in WWII, and how she survived and became a beloved writer and speaker about her Christian faith.
The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Estes also wrote "Women Who Run With Wolves."
I realize my two precious "babies", books I co-authored, must be on my list of favorite books. I don't want them to think I am neglecting them. I have new blog readers who don't know about these pretty books. The first book I co-authored is "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday."
Here is the Amazon link: Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts 
The second book I co-authored is "A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms." It was a delight to dream up and then write these books with the other gals.
Today on Amazon the Christmas book is $10 (hardcover, full color) and the Motherhood book is $8 (also hardcover and full color).
Here is the Amazon link: Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts
I looked over my list and see the books in this second installment are all written by women. Just an observation. My three favorite all time authors are men though, see the earlier list for their names.
Thank you to all the authors whose books give me such pleasure.Imagine the hours and years they spent perfecting their craft and bringing stories to life. As I know, writing is by its nature a lonesome profession.