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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31st 2009...

  Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.....

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

And if that's not enough....  why don't you have a seat and rest a bit..

I hope everyone who partakes in Halloween has a terrifying time this Halloween Eve!!
Happy Halloween Everyone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Atria; 1ST edition (April 7, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1416550542


From Booklist
In 1913, a little girl arrives in Brisbane, Australia, and is taken in by a dockmaster and his wife. She doesn’t know her name, and the only clue to her identity is a book of fairy tales tucked inside a white suitcase.  When the girl, called Nell, grows up, she starts to piece together bits of her story, but just as she’s on the verge of going to England to trace the mystery to its source, her grandaughter, Cassandra, is left in her care. When Nell dies, Cassandra finds herself the owner of a cottage in Cornwall, and makes the journey to England to finally solve the puzzle of Nell’s origins. Shifting back and forth over a span of nearly 100 years, this is a sprawling, old-fashioned novel, as well-cushioned as a Victorian country house, replete with family secrets, stories-within-stories, even a maze and a Dickensian rag-and-bone shop. All the pieces don’t quite mesh, but it’s a satisfying read overall, just the thing for readers who like multigenerational sagas with a touch of mystery.

Yet another chunkster read!

When I found this book at B&N I loved the cover and when I read the inside flap I thought this sounded pretty good, and so I bought it.  As it sat in my tbr pile I came for find that the author had also written another book that I had read "The House at Riverton".  Now, I have to say, that I remember I wasn't thrilled with that book.  I also remember thinking it would be a book like The 13th Tale, which I loved, and I am guessing I expected it to live up to The 13th Tale which it didn't. My expectations for this book dropped.

Needless to say I became concerned that I would not like this book either, so I entered it with trepidation.  I think I expected to wade thru the book doing a lot of skimming ..... More or less, I didn't expect much.

I was wrong.

I was wrong wrong wrong!

I liked this book very much!

It was a mystery  spanning a few life times, and so the chapters were set up to jump from the granddaughter to the grandmother, to the great grandmother back and forth and it took some getting used to before I knew who was who ('s old age what can I say) 

It certainly wasn't a cliff hanger type of book but it kept me very involved to the point that I was picking up the book a few times a day to read a chapter or two... or more.

I might describe the book as: The Secret Garden and The Thirteenth Tale rolled into one.. but it's family secrets weren't as dark as the 13th tale and the garden itself was more than just a secret. 

The books main protagonist was Cassandra (the granddaughter) and the entire book wrapped around finding out who Nell (her grandmother) really was.

Which meant she would begin by going to England to see why Nell had bought a cottage there and told no one she had ever gone to England.  Why had her grandmother never told anyone??  Why would she buy a cottage and never return to England?

Who was the Authoress?  And what did the child's book of fairy tales have to do with Nell? 

This book is very well written.

And a very enjoyable read.

It sure made me keep reading.. and, as happens when reading a book that has captured you, it was not easy to read the last page knowing the book was over.

This one.. is a keeper.... and it is book number 10 for the RIP IV Challenge.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Around The Pond, Oct. 22nd

The morning was dark and looked like rain.  When I went outside with my  token 3 slices of bread I found it drizzling.  I was shocked when I looked up and saw a full rainbow!

I zoomed in on one corner for a better view of the colors.

When I looked around for someone to feed I saw "dead eye".. it would seem  he's not a lover of the rain.. he even looks cold and I can promise you he WASN'T cold!

Eventually  the turtle showed up.  It still amazes me that this turtle knows it will get bread when none of the others seem to "get it".

I discovered that with the lack of sunshine I could  see underwater so tried a few pictures.  I did play some in PSP making adjustments to see them even better.. I thought this one of the turtle came out well...

I tried another when the fish wouldn't leave the turtle alone and jumped all over him for his bread... I believe they are the same Mullet that jump high out of the water all the time.

Then there is the "end of the day" photo..

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Making of An Afghan

Last month I started making an afghan...  don't ask me why.. i don't know heh..

I thought I'd just show you the beginning pattern and when I'm done I'll show you the finished product. Ummm.. and I finished before I ever posted the beginning heh..  Here's the basic pattern:

(above: sept 27th)  Fetch likes it!  Below October20th.



Oct. 23..

I have to admit it... this was the first time I attempted "flowers"  It wasn't bad except for all the sewing it on ..I can't sew to save my life!

Today will be a double post so there are some pond pictures below this post!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Last Dickens

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (October 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0812978021

Product Description

Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens’s sudden death reaches his struggling American publisher, James Osgood sends his trusted clerk, Daniel Sand, to await the arrival of Dickens’s unfinished final manuscript. But Daniel never returns, and when his body is discovered by the docks, Osgood must embark on a quest to find the missing end to the novel and unmask the killer. With Daniel’s sister Rebecca at his side, Osgood races the clock through a dangerous web of opium dens, sadistic thugs, and literary lions to solve a genius’s last mystery and save his own–and Rebecca’s–lives.

I think it's safe to say that I am officially  captivated by Dickens, and his last unfinished novel of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Of the two books, Drood by Dan Simmons and The Last Dickens, I have to say I enjoyed Drood better. 

However!........... this was a different look on Dickens and Edwin Drood. Where the first book was narrated by Wilke Collins and spoke more of each of their lives and the fictional story of how Drood became part of both their lives, this book begins in America with James Osgood and the publishing company that published Dickens books.  They were awaiting the next installment of  Edwin Drood when Dickens died and then began to wonder if he had left any notes as to the ending of the book. 

James and Rebecca go to England to try to search for any clues to the end of Dickens book and wind up in an adventure of their own.

The Last Dickens began a little slow for me (but that could well be the result of having read Drood) .  After a few chapters it took on life and the more you read the better the story was.

The fiction and thoughts about how the book would have ended fueled both of these books to enjoyable reads.  Never would I have thought myself the least bit interested in Dickens life or an unfinished book by him... yet these two authors have come up with quite creative license in what may or may not have happened!

I realize after  having read both of these books that I will eventually have to get a copy of the unfinished book by Dickens and read it for myself!  I have a feeling though that the creativeness of these two authors might make the actual book a bit of a let down! 

These two books have already led me to read Wilke Collins Woman in White and I have his book of Moonstones here to read.  I also have David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol and The Mystery of Edwin Drood is on the old wishlist... I can put all the blame to this on Carl for having gotten me into liking Gothic mysteries!  

Geez maurice... what could possibly be next??!!

This is the 9th book for RIP IV

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Day the "Cold Front" Came Through

This first picture is of a very small bird and it is totally across the pond from my apartment.  Had I not been watching his flight I never would have known where to zoom to... of course his back is to me but  I think he may be some sort of Kingfisher.   So I grabbed my handy-dandy bird book my sister-in-law sent me and found the pic next to mine....


Looks like I have a winner! Looks like the bottom Kingfisher. 

I have seen him twice now, very early morning but he moves fast and doesn't stay around. From the time I saw him and grabbed my camera he was already in flight and I watched as he landed in a tree on the far side of the pond.  I hope I get a good picture of him one day.. gosh.. my first "small bird!"

My buddy the Egret was out and right in front of my apt the other day..

No matter which way the Egret  looked it seemed the fish were always jumping anywhere but near him~

"Dead Eye" showed up and strolled over by me to hunt.

Every time he aims he catches what he's after.

maybe it's because he stays close to me but I can't seem to stop taking pictures of him and they are getting to look all alike! argh~

Later it clouded up and the wind blew like there was no tomorrow and then the sky opened!   It poured for about 10 minutes and stopped.

When night was about to arrive it looked like this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gator Eyes

Guess who I finally saw yesterday...


..and I have to tell you I don't know how a gator this small ever found it's way to this pond!  I bigger gator would walk farther, but this little fellow.. well.. he's little!!! His head and body (minus the tail) must only be about a foot long.

but don't let that fool you...he is fast!

..and although "size wise" he's sorta "cute"..he's scary all the same!

(when i look at his eyes I hear Dracula: "I bid you welcome".. heh oh yeah, I bet he does lol)

The maintenance man tried to catch him on day with the pool net but he is way too fast.. I do hope he's caught and removed though, it won't be long and he won't be so small.. a few residents have seen him and seem not to be worried or afraid.. that's not a good thing as he won't stay tiny and his small teeth still carry a lot of bacteria, so you wouldn't want even this little fellow to snap at you.

Ever get the feeling your being watched?

Friday, October 16, 2009



Red Sky at night...sailors delight...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Houston, We Have Liftoff...



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Angel's Game

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition, First Printing edition (June 16, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0385528701


From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Fans of Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind and new readers alike will be delighted with this gothic semiprequel. In 1920s Barcelona, David Martin is born into poverty, but, aided by patron and friend Pedro Vidal, he rises to become a crime reporter and then a beloved pulp novelist. David's creative pace is frenetic; holed up in his dream house—a decrepit mansion with a sinister history—he produces two great novels, one for Vidal to claim as his own, and one for himself. But Vidal's book is celebrated while David's is buried, and when Vidal marries David's great love, David accepts a commission to write a story that leads him into danger. As he explores the past and his mysterious publisher, David becomes a suspect in a string of murders, and his race to uncover the truth is a delicious puzzle: is he beset by demons or a demon himself? Zafón's novel is detailed and vivid, and David's narration is charming and funny, but suspect. Villain or victim, he is the hero of and the guide to this dark labyrinth that, by masterful design, remains thrilling and bewildering.

The first thing I need to say about this book and Shadow of the Wind is... this is one excellent writer!! 

I loved Shadow of the Wind, which always scares me when I get a second book of an authors, wondering if it will live up to the first book I read.  In this case, although not as enchanted with the story itself,  he didn't let me down.  He managed to capture me and keep me thru the whole 544 pages!  Geez.  What's with me and the big books lately?

This book definitely fits the description for an RIP read!  There are cemeteries, a broken down gothic type house, murders??, a love story, and then there's... "the boss" (insert very creepy music).  Zafon really came up with a good villain for this story!

Another thing you will be doing for the last half of the book is wondering what is real and what is not!  Not to mention the constant bristling of your neck hairs each time the boss enters the picture.

If you read and liked Shadow of the Wind my guess is that you will like this book also!  Although the stories are quite different he managed to keep an element the same in each book, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. (I won't say more of the place but I'd love to go there one day!)  And of course both books have to do with "books" and authors so it's a big draw in that respect also.

I think this is an author you might want to look into.  So far with two books out and translated he's two for two on any high rating system.  He seems to have his formula down pat, and I look forward to whatever he writes next!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Pond

This little guy is probably my favorite of the birds that come here.  One of the men who feed the birds dubbed him "dead eye" because he never misses.  When that beak juts into the water it always comes out with something for him to eat.

But he's my favorite because he's pretty (tri colored), and he will come to within 3-4 feet of me to "hunt". 

As I'm sure you've noticed he poses for the camera all the time!  I just wish I could catch some "wing action" with him... all this and of course, he's got that great DA hairdo going for him.


He's definitely not a bread eater, he likes his tiny fish.  I wish I had something he would eat just to see if he'd take it from me.

I think he stares his prey down and hypnotizes them.

The great white Egret gave me something to photograph by  landing in the tree again..

I mean really!... in - the - tree..

...the tippy tippy top of the tree!

Eventually... he landed.

Sometimes these big birds are just amazing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hey, Pumpkin' first off I want to thank (?) Debi (the wonder woman) for inspiring me to try to crochet some ...uhmmm... things other than afghans..

For those who don't know... I was sent this little pumpkin which Debi made... little did I know it would lead to driving me nuts trying to find "eyes" and leading me to blindness trying to crochet with the small needle and fat  yarn!..        (he is cute though dang it all!)

So ...

I found these patterns (again thanks to Debi, because I was having no luck what so ever finding a crochet book with them in it).  I have two others to try yet...

My first attempts were to make an owl and a penguin.

The owl is fairly quick but the eyes are "glued" since I was unable to find the sort I really wanted..even the renowned "Michael's" only had glue eyes.  The problem being I don't know how well the eyes will STAY glued on to an uneven surface like yarn.

The Penguin on the other hand..(argh!)  First off it took nearly 1/2 day to make it! .. this Penguin is going to be an Orphan!  Don't think I will try that one again!.. oh boy did I ever forget what it's like to crochet with BLACK yarn!! You can't see what the heck you are doing.. I was crocheting blind!!  Of course I didn't have the proper eyes for it either.. what I used is felt and I don't like it.. I needed the eyes that Debi had.. much smaller .

While I was trying to take photo's Boo came around.. I don't think he was thrilled thinking he now had to share a tiny 2 room apt with yet another animal!  (the owl looked away pretending the huge monster did not exist!)

Here's a shot of the two orphans and "pumpkin boy" who started it all.

... I am much better at afghans! Honest I am!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sunrise... Sunset

(A few days ago) Predawn.. Oct. 6, 2009

Dawn's first light over the Pond.

The big  Heron was up and hunting early!

...About 1/2 hr later, across the pond. (do turtles sing?? heh)

Midday with the softshell...

I wonder what the Heron sees across the pond??

The crows now show up for bread..soon I will need a bread factory to feed them all!

Except for ol' dead eye... he sticks to the "minnows" that come close when bread gets in the water!.. he never misses!

Yet another summer Sunset (oh wait it's Fall *said sarcastically) ..