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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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Two Surprises !!

Surprise # 1:  I noticed buzzards off in the distance on a tree, I usually only see them flying or drinking at the pond..

BIG surprise # 2: Mama Moorhen came charging at me when I went outside  so I ran inside and grabbed a piece of  bread..

I held out the bread and she came right up and took two or three bites at it.  Her older babies are still around the pond, then I saw her swim over to "Gilligans Island".. and low and behold ... there are 6 (best count I could do) new babies!!

These shots are a huge surprise ! As you can see, the older babies are with the new ones and generally the parents run them off before they have a new batch of babies!  (note the older babies don't have the red on the beak)

So here you see 2 generations of Moorhens!

The above picture is too cute seeing the baby look up to it's older brother or sister!..

It's difficult to get a good clear picture just yet but it won't be long before they are going around the pond with babies in tow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Night and Day at the Pond

Evening after major storms...

 

... the Moon, the next morning at 5 am..

Later in the day.. visitors at the Pond..

The Heron was hiding in the reeds..

and the Muscovey Duck paid us a visit..

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Faery Rebels

 Faery Rebels : Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (April 28, 2009)
ISBN-10: 006155474X

From School Library Journal

The faery world is crumbling. During a disaster called the Sundering, these small, fragile, winged creatures lost all of their magic save that which allows them to fly, and they live inside a great oak tree, fearful of people and animals. True friendship and love are foreign to them. Worse, they are falling victim to a kind of dementia they call the Silence, and are dying. Into this picture comes Knife: tough, brave, adventurous, and soon taking on the job of Queen's Hunter. While defending herself against an attacking crow, she is rescued and taken home by a human. Knife becomes convinced that the mystery of their lost magic and the dementia are connected to the faeries' fear of humans and becomes committed to saving her community. The heart of the book lies in the relationship that develops between Knife and the human Paul, who is a paraplegic. Anderson draws on echoes from countless fairy tales and legends about the relationships between human men and faerie women to enrich this gripping and involving story. While the main characters are vividly drawn, some of the secondary characters and background story are sketched more hastily.

What an absolute delightful surprise this book was!

Yes it is yet another YA book, very well written, with what sounded like a lot of research into stories that concerned humans and faeries.

This is a small but captivating book.

We watch the main character, Knife, grow up in the Oak Tree always wanting to leave and see the world beyond.  The Queen who works hard to keep her subjects safe, and a few other faeries that become close to Knife as she grows.

Then there is Paul... the human! (horror! haha) We first meet him briefly, as a very young lad, and then some years later in a wheelchair. 

One of the things that kept putting a smirk on my face is that his name is Paul McCormick.  McCormick is my maiden name!  (later on the cover I read that the author RJ Anderson was schooled in New Jersey (where I am originally from)... however, much as I hate to admit this.. I never came across a single winged faery while living there.

This is a story of the Faeries survival.  It is also a story of dreams coming true and of finding love in the strangest places.

The book title seemed to tell me there might be a sequel but it has a very definite ending.

It is a very fast read, and quite enjoyable. Perfect for when you don't think you will have a lot of time to read but want something light and enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sometimes There's No One Better Than the Postman!

*grin*

*excitement*

*thrills*

....look what came in the mail!

..oh yeah! .. oh yeah!...

I won't be doing a whole lot or reading for a bit! (some, just not a whole lot).  (All 14 episodes of Firefly are on sale at Amazon for 19.99!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Give Up

 I was out and about today with my girlfriend.  We hit 2 to many stores! One was a thrift shop, so that was ok.. there I got the Mary Stewart book, The Prince and the Pilgrim for .50 cents. (can't pass that up!) Then we went to a children's books store where my girlfriend gets puzzles.    There I found The Dracula Dossier by James Reese (regular price 14.95 but on sale for 5.98) and a little book called The Fantasy Art Bible.(not on sale for 12.99)  ..sigh.

I am seriously wondering if the size of my tbr is not part of my depression now and why my reading is suffering.  ..and no I'm not joking, so I have to try to stay away from books stores and thrift shops ..but at my age there isn't much else...I give up.

Ok 'nuff of that  here's a picture of the books  and since I already read most in the Fantasy Art Bible the information on it from Amazon..

The Fantasy Art Bible edited by Jane Moseley & Jackie Strachan.

Spiral-bound: 192 pages
Publisher: Chartwell Books, Inc.; Spi edition (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0785825525

(below.left) artist: Janny Wurts  (also an author of a number of Fantasy books)                                         (right) artist:  Bob Hobbs

(below) by artist: Jonathon Earl Bowser

(below) artist: Heather Hudson

(below) artist: Kajsa Flinkfeldt

(below) artist: Marc Potts

Although there are a number of paintings such as above in the book, much of the book talks about the type of pencils and paints to use and using the creative imagination etc.  ( I just don't want anyone to think it's a book of all paintings when the paintings are a small part of the book)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Time Quake...Bk. 3

 The Time Quake is my third book for Quest the First. (Having already finished The Journey)

The Time Quake by Linda Buckley-Archer

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 141691529X

 

From Booklist

Readers familiar with Kate, Peter, and Gideon from The Time Travelers (Gideon the Catpurse 2006) and The Time Thief (2007) will happily find that their exciting adventures continue. While greedy Lord Luxon tries to change history by having the British defeat the Americans in 1776, Gideon and the children must overcome obstacles to retrieve the one remaining time machine to stop the quakes and set history aright. In this conclusion of the Gideon trilogy, Buckley-Archer presents a satisfying, yet rather abrupt, neatly packaged conclusion

Taa Daa!... I finished the trilogy!

Book 3 seems to have more history facts then in the other two books, and I found that the author curled the story around it very nicely!  These books would be good for someone to read who wanted some light reading for a Historical Challenge!

Overall the books were very enjoyable. They weren't the kind I couldn't put down (but the past number of months none have been, it's ME not the books!) but I still did enjoy them.  Normally, I am not a fan of Time Travel books, but on the rare occasion I've read a few that suited me, this would be one of them... not too much to overwhelm me!

The characters got separated, so some were in the present and some in the past but the author wrote well enough not to confuse this rattled brain.  When we follow Lord Luxon we get to see Washington crossing over into New Jersey, and he decides he will dispose of Washington and by doing so he will change history .  Not a thought I'd like to ponder!

We also find out in book three that the good man Gideon, who has been helping the children all along has a not so nice brother who he thought was dead. (a little intrigue going on ).

I would say the books were quite enjoyable.  They are YA books and would make excellent read out loud to the kids books.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dragon

Can I have my own Dragon paaaaahleeeeze?!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back in New Jersey

Back in New Jersey, on Saturday & Sunday, was the Chiller Autograph Show that I went to twice a year. (*huge sigh*)  But here I am in Florida. Therefore I did not go.

So yesterday was a bad day... but yet a bit of a good day. (curious? Read on)

I missed my girlfriend Michelle and her son Donald who not that long ago began meeting me there each and every show. Having someone to walk with and talk with is always a plus.  She and Donald did go to the show, which always amazes me as they drive up from Virginia (near Washington) which is nearly a 5 hr drive to come to it.

I missed seeing Roger and Grace: (old photo) Roger is the artist that painted the Jaws poster/ bookcover.. and many other things. Grace is his wonderful wife. I loved seeing them each show and seeing anything that I hadn't seen before that they decided to make into prints to sell.

 

..and I missed Ken and Susan: (old photo) Ken is a fantastic artist and Susan is doing sculpting...

I always visited them multiple  times while there.

But when Michelle called me later that day she told me that she visited them all and everyone was well.  She also said that Grace and Roger look at this blog now and then and really like the photo's of the birds!! Coming from and Artist's eye that made me feel good and I was more then grateful that Michelle told me about that! 

I keep feeling I put way too many pictures of the birds up...but life at the "old folks home" is so exciting there's nothing much else to do! I'm not a speed reader so my  "book reports" take a while.  Sometimes I wonder what my blog is all about... when I began 4 yrs ago it was this and that and I guess mostly memories.  Then I fell into this group of book readers!  But when both my brother and David died and I had no choice but to move everything changed for me.  Now I have the Pond with big birds around ... so that's what you get folks!... wow, but I miss the shows!

There were a guest or two I'd have liked to have seen and talked with (along with getting the autograph of course)..

I doubt anyone is as old as me that reads my blog, but if there is... Richard Chamberlain was there!  OMG! DR. KILDARE!!!  (now 76 yrs old!) Dr. Kildare aired from 1961-1966. (so I was 17 when it first aired and had my first son before it went off the air). 

  (web photo)

In 1978-79 he did a dozen episodes of "Centennial" and then in 1983 he did "The Thorn Birds".

(web photo)

I realize it hurts to admit we might remember Richard.. but he's worth it. He is a fabulous actor!

Michelle knew I would have gotten Richard Chamberlains autograph and so she got one for me!  I'll show it when it comes in the mail!

Then..*big ..sad...sigh..* There was Connor Trinneer!

One other time he was to do this show when I was still in New Jersey but had to cancel.. this time he didn't cancel! .. he is such a cutie, and I really loved his character on Enterprise as the Chief Engineer named Trip.  I was sooooo sorry that show got canceled when it did!  I wasn't ready for the cancellation dang it!

  (web photo)

Connor went on to do guest spots on other shows and then did a number of episodes in Stargate:Atlantis

  (web photo)

I have to admit it... Connor is one of "those" actors (like Karl Urban) who makes me wish I was young again, just so I could drool and not look like  a stupid old fool LOL..

Here comes the "good" part of the day... my friend Michelle asked Connor if he would talk to a fan on the phone..he said..yes.  So she called me and handed the phone to Connor who proceeded to chit chat with me for a few minutes!  I don't know what his accent is but he has a cute voice to go with the cute face! lol... I thought it was great of Michelle to do that and fantastic that Connor agreed to talk on the phone to me!

I do have the above Trek photo of him signed that another friend had gotten me about 2 yrs ago.. but I would have loved to meet him! Maybe one day he will do a Florida convention... not that I could get there anyway but it wouldn't be from the lack of trying!!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 17th

On this day I spied an Egret hunting..

... Turtles sunbathing..

...and noted how big the Moorhen babies are!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Birds & More Birds

Wow!  My girlfriend came over the other day with a "late" birthday gift! It was this huge hardback book on birds! Just look at this gorgeous cover!

I haven't really looked at each and every page yet but I did go through it a bit to see what it had to offer.. here is a page with "moorhens" (Coots) that are different from the ones at the pond.

below: close up of a "giant Coot"

I found a page with the beautiful Egret on it and some Terns like I had seen at the beach one time..

The Egret is prettier in person.

look at the Terns!!  The ones we had seen were just black and white but just has pretty!

The book will take some time to see it all..until then I will go thru it now and then and find more gorgeous birds..many I wish were in this state but many are not even of this continent!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Time Thief ..(Bk 2)

Book 2 for  Quest the First!

The Time Thief by Linda Buckley-Archer

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing(November 25, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416915281

 

 From Booklist

At the cliff-hanger conclusion to Gideon the Cutpurse (2006), the first book in the Gideon Trilogy, Peter Schock, a twenty-first-century 12-year-old, wound up stranded in 1763. Now, his fellow time traveler, Kate, joins Peter’s father in salvaging a flubbed rescue attempt, one that delivered them to the wrong year (1792) and left their time machine broken. This is a rare middle book in a trilogy that actually outshines its predecessor, and here’s why: Kate and Mr. Schock meet up with Peter, now a middle-aged gentleman, and his agonized decision making (should he reveal his identity or help the visitors continue their mission, possibly erasing his own lifetime from history?) lends the adventure thought-provoking substance. Shifting among numerous perspectives, the tale also benefits from an ingenious crime-caper subplot involving the Tar Man, an eighteenth-century thief who learns to toggle between eras. This isn’t without flaws; the heavy-handed historical scene setting and old-fashioned dialogue may overwhelm some readers. Still, Buckley-Archer has delivered an effective, satisfying sequel that will ensure an audience for the trilogy’s conclusion, in which Gideon will apparently return from offstage

Well now, book 2 has gotten much more interesting then book 1 ! I was prepared for a "middle book", you know the sort.. the one that does nothing much more then fill in between book 1 and book 3..wrong!

This was a very good read!! Not only the the journey continue but it got a whole lot more interesting!  There was more "history" involved and more adventure!  The books are a very good example of mixing a little science fiction with fantasy and history.  (One jump into time travel bringing the kids back to the year 1763)

If I were to find one thing wrong with this book (and book 1) its that it has this tiny blurb on the cover saying, "may very well give J K Rowling a run for her money."  I have come to dislike when things like that are done purely to try to grab a reader who enjoyed HP.  It is nothing even closely like HP ! But they think by putting that on a cover it will get unsuspecting YA to get the book !  Well.. I bought it without noticing that blurb and I"m glad I did because it would have set me into a HP mood and then I would have been very disappointed that it wasn't at all like it.

That being said, now that I've read 2 of the 3 books I can say it is very enjoyable and I can see where any YA reader would get wrapped right up in the story. 

I love that it has small history lessons put in it.  I was never a history buff but I find when small things are put into and adventure or mystery that I do enjoy it very much.  It's not everyday that the name Thomas Paine is mentioned or that men in England still wore the powdered wigs!

I would heartily recommend these books for any YA and even for those of us NOT YA that enjoy ya books!   Try it, you may like it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Case of the Missing Fish...

The Egret isn't the only one who can't find the fish..

Friday, April 09, 2010

Egret in the Tree

 The Egrets have been rare around the pond all winter.. however it's now in the low 80's now.. Even the Bald Cypress Trees are beginning to leaf..

(the tree in front of my apartment is still bare.. others look like this..)

(a confusing word: leaf, since it looks like no leaf I've seen before..

Sparse tree or not this Egret flew in and landed on the tippy top!

It still amazes me that such a large bird can rest on such small branches and they don't even bend!

 

But he/ she is beautiful!

 

I am glad they are retuning to the pond.. even though they don't "stay" they did visit each day, so I am assuming it will be the same this year.