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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!

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

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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 (CRS..it'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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another Pond Day

These last few pond posts have been stored for a week or more.. not much of anything is going on these days, not sure if its the season changing (though at 89 degrees you can't really say it's changing yet) or what but hardly any critters around for photographing..and as we all know I am not a fast reader to have more books up, although I should finish the one I am reading before the week is out.  (The Forgotten Garden) Yet another read over 500 pages. I think I did a mini chunkster challenge instead of RIP! sheesh lol ..anyway...

Sometimes I take a photo and the colors are just right!

This must be the first squirrel I've seen around. I was surprised he was back by the pond the Live Oak Trees with the acorns are in the front of the buildings.

Since these photo's I do see more squirrels around. So you might be seeing more of them if the birds don't come around.  We also seem to have some little Finches, but they have been to fast for me to get any shots so far.

 

"The Big and the Small of it All"....

 

...and by the way.. the last Moorhen baby "flew the nest" It's only Mama and Papa around the pond now.   The big Heron appears but only at dawn when it's still a tad dark and he's not that close to get pictures, and the Egret shows up each day for a while.  So other than the Ibis which we can't get rid of, we are low on birds!

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.

 

October21..

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!

Cormorants

Before you even look at these photo's I apologize for the poor quality.. the pictures were taken from inside the house and most were quite far across the pond and so the quality isn't as good as normal..

Anyway..

I looked out the other day, and what to my surprise, eight tiny reindeer.. oh wait. wrong story.. there was, what I first thought was a young Anhinga.. but it turned out to be (same family) Cormorants.

(Anhingas are a tad larger, and have straight beaks.. not the shorter and hooked end to the Cormorants.)

 

.. and there were TWO of them!  (look at that snooty attitude! lol)

If I weren't so far away and IN my apt I would say the one looked to be sure someone was taking pictures!

..and yes.. like the Anhinga they swim and eat underwater!

Seeing the two together was thrilling!.. until I remembered the gator's. :o(

They are too small to try to eat these birds yet.. but they could do damage to their very large webbed feet if they wanted to.

After checking out the entire pond they both took off.. I managed to get a shot of one as he ran on top of the water!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vulture

Far be it that I don't introduce ALL the creatures that show up at the Pond!

This morning was a shocker... 3 Turkey Vulchers showed up!  I wondered what was dead and how big was it that 3 Vulchers should be so interested as to land on a rooftop here.

Eventually two of them came off the roof..

It seems all they wanted was something to drink.  I was relieved that no dead bodies were found!

This "cutie pie" even posed for me.  (I will never call the Wood Stork ugly again!!)  I have to say .. they are a rather LARGE bird!

..he will never win a beauty contest!  But hey..at my age it's kinda like looking in a wrinkled mirror! (mirror's ARE wrinkled right?)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two, two .. Two Instead of One!

The TWO gator's are getting aggressive and coming on land..

They are small... but oh so fast! And they don't seem to be afraid of people and scurry back into the water.. they stay there defiantly.

 

 

 

Later in the day the smaller gator came onto the grass right in front of my apt!! I managed to take a photo so you can compare the  size of the gator to the little Moorhen.. the pictures above are of the "larger" gator.. below the smaller one.. but both are small.

I will tell you that he tried to get closer to the Moorhens more than once.. it's small but very aggressive.

It won't be long until their teeth grow large! 

I do not understand why Animal Control will not remove them until 5 foot long when it would be so easy to move them at this size.  

Even though they are very small, I am glad I have a very good zoom lens!

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.