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Book # 22 in 2018: “The Pharaoh Key” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Posted June 24th, 2018
Book # 22 in 2018: “The Pharaoh Key” by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

I do like Gideon Crew–quite a bit more than Preston & Child’s better-known sleuth, Agent Pendergast, whom I find annoying in the southern, courtly, albino-pale, omniscient and omnipotent way. “The Pharaoh Key” (#5 in the Gideon Crew series) was a giggle and a treat I inhaled like melting ice cream on a hot summer’s day….

For the Long Haul

Posted February 17th, 2010

The four-dozen roses bought from the expensive on-line purveyor arrived promptly on Thursday, February 4 as promised. They were quickly extracted with their sweet attar from the protective packaging and ice packs; there was a small amount of extra greenery; the red roses came with Baby’s Breath and the pink with something prettier I couldn’t…

Scary Ellen Blows Up at Hyundai Service

Posted September 17th, 2009

They forced out my Dark Side. Again. I did not get up this rainy September morning on the wrong side of the bed. I did not glance in the bathroom mirror and wave hello to Scary Ellen. Not at all. I rose quietly so as not to disturb the rest of my Dear One. I…

On the Gulf Coast 3

Posted January 14th, 2013
On the Gulf Coast 3

Manatees hang in the water at the Tampa Electric Company (TECO) in Apollo Beach, seemingly born by the currents of oblivion as little fish nibble at their skin and sharks school protectively around them. At a distance they are nothing but brown bumps, little islands. When one glides by, dappled with light that barely penetrates…

Books # 16 & 17 in 2018: Memoirs by Daughters Who Survived—Tara Westover and Jeanette Walls

Posted May 10th, 2018
Books # 16 & 17 in 2018: Memoirs by Daughters Who Survived—Tara Westover and Jeanette Walls

Violence, incest, abuse of every stripe: such horrors fill both narratives by these relatively young writers. In the words too are moving reflections on salvation: the selfless love and sacrifice of siblings, the insight and enduring patience of peers and educators; serendipity and luck. Then there is hope, the force that did not escape Pandora’s…

An English Wedding 6: The Butler and I

Posted September 24th, 2010
An English Wedding 6: The Butler and I

It was in Bath that we changed Nüvi’s voice from Daniel to Serena. I had favored Daniel, English-accented and resonant; besides, I am sentimentally attached to the name. Serena, we had heard was the best voice, the most audible and the most authentically human. It’s true. Her voice is pleasant in pitch, cuts through noises…

In Flanders’ Cities 3: Bruges

Posted April 12th, 2015
In Flanders’ Cities 3: Bruges

The forecast was splendid: sunny at 71 degrees, which is to say 22 degrees Celsius. We would be outdoors all day. We dressed accordingly, climbed on a train and got to Bruges by about 11:00. The walk to the Grote Markt, the center of town, is less than two kilometers, two incredibly pleasant and beautiful…

Stumbles on the Rose-Petal Path

Posted January 26th, 2010

I am generally uneasy when things go too smoothly. Clarity of vision and ease of execution merely lull one into a dream state. Stumbling, however, keeps one awake and alert. Take the rings, for instance. After a flurry of shopping-like activity, we chose a ring that is perfection itself. When it arrived, we were also…

Counting Calories

Posted September 7th, 2010

I found the best foodie website ever: http://nutritiondata.self.com. My Dear One asked if I would make carrot cake. Years ago we found somewhat unusual recipe that makes a particularly savory cake, not terribly sweet, and pleasantly moist. Since then we have improved the recipe, bulking its nutritional value and reducing the calories due to sugar….

Beautiful Blue Danube 6: A Viking Cruise

Posted June 9th, 2016
Beautiful Blue Danube 6: A Viking Cruise

As we approached Vienna, the sun shone steadily and the Danube momentarily reflected blue. We passed through another lock, dropping to match the water level to the east, watching as massive gates swung toward us, a vertical opening that widened and widened, a sort of concrete-and-steel proscenium curtain. As the Atla moved forward a light…