Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis

I came across a post about The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis last winter. I raced out, bought the book and consumed it in two evenings. It is a taut, suspenseful psychological mystery.

Through Sunday Scribblings and other blogs about writing and books, I met Laini. She hosted an author's party for Patry as she made her way through down the west coast promoting her book. What a great evening meeting a very funny and sweet Patry. Meeting Laini and Jim, being in the presence of a writing and literate community.

The Liar's Diary comes out in paperback today. I have to let my reading club know. It would a great read for a book club. I hope it does well.

More importantly, I hope Patry does well in fighting her life threatening health issues. (I just learned of her challenge Sunday). I keep coming back to that spring evening where she laughed and talked about being on the book tour and looked forward to traveling the Oregon coast. What a difference a year makes. Today, as I turn 55, I am reminded life is precious. Positive thoughts coming your way, Patry.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


"Miscellaneous" is the prompt at Sunday Scribblings. I love the reason for the prompt "Because it is a delicious word with unlimited possibilities". Many miscellaneous photos this week and I draw my inspiration to share them from Inland Empire Girl.

It has been bitter cold in Portland this week.

So cold that I wanted to capture this little hummingbird and warm him up for awhile on Thursday. He sat on this perch for a good ten minutes and allowed me to get close. I love watching them, "chipparosas", my father would call them. So entertaining but this week, My heart went out to them.

Anna's Hummingbird,
Dusk 2008

Anna's Hummingbirds winter here in the Portland area. They are dependent on the feeders. I brought the feeders in each night this week in order that they would not freeze.

Bob's Red Mill, Portland, OR 2008

I stopped in at Bob's Red Mill store yesterday. They have a fabulous water wheel which the weather affected this week. Their vegetarian split soup warmed the soul yesterday.

Moon, Front yard, 2008

And the moon, the moon was incredible this week as I left to go to work. It took all I had not to dilly dally on my way to work. I have my camera with me most days and if the opportunity presents, I will shoot.

There are many wonderful interpretations of "miscellaneous" here.


shadow light
harmony among people
vision dream
luminescent eyes
walls tumble down, hearts open
acceptance seeds sowed

This week's prompt at One Deep Breath was this quote from Dr. Martin Luther Kine, Jr.:

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." Many takes on this quote. Visit here to read more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert Burns

Frontpiece, Volume Two
Etching of Ayr, Scotland
Birthplace of my grandfather

In honor of Robert Burns birthday, today, January 25, 1759:

The Book-Worms

Through and through th' inspir'd leaves,
Ye maggots, make your windings;
But O respect his lordship's taste,
And spare his golden bindings.

Beneath the poem (or epigram as stated in the book):?
"(On visiting a nobleman in Edinburgh (it is said), Burns was shewn into the library, where stood a Shakespeare splendidly bound, but time-worn, and unaired by occasional use. He found the leaves sadly worm-eaten, and wrote the about epigram on the ample margin of its pages. Long after our poet's death, some one happened to oppent the book and found the lines in the unmistakeable handwriting of Burns.)"

This is from my grandfather's set of The Complete Works of Robert Burns. It was published in 1886. He must have bought the set in the states as the publisher was Gebbie and Publishers Company and Philadelphia is listed as the publishing city. I have volumes two through six. I don't know what happened to volume one. But I have yet to see any "book-worms".

For more Poetry Friday, visit: Mentor Texts, Read Alouds, and More.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fellow Travelers

Chuck and I, Zion 2005

Fellow Travelers

Brazil, Costa Rica, Hawaii, East Coast, West Coast, Zion, Chicago, and the Northwest, all places traveled to with my fellow traveler and companion, my husband. Travel is one thing that defines our relationship.
Someone once told me that a test in a new relationship is to travel together. If you travel well, then your daily life together will hold. I believe that it to be true. My husband and I have been together 18 years. We travel well and our day-to-day life travels well. What I love is that we get up early to be on the road.

I am the planner (except the Brazil trip, it was the result of my husband winning a sales contest and was already planned). It must be the librarian in me, the researcher of information. I want to know as much as I can before I go. I love maps, books (especially the ones about the little known places of our destinations).

I tried once to be spontaneous on a trip. I have a friend who lives that way. It was the twenty-first birthday journey with my daughter. We left Las Vegas headed by car to Reno, no hotels reservations; we would make them we arrived. We decided to go through Death Valley, Ca (because we were being spontaneous) thus, we did not arrive into Reno until after 10 PM. We were lucky to find a Motel 6. Never again.

My favorite trips with my husband are when we leave immediately after my last day of school. We load up the Prius and head east. One year it was to Zion National Park. Last year it was to our friends in Idaho. It was good medicine to leave town. I shift faster into relax mode by leaving familiar surroundings. My husband loves to drive so I can either read or sleep.

I feel fortunate to have a fellow traveler in my husband. His curiosity about the world and my planning how to get there makes a good team. I look forward to traveling again this summer.
To meet other fellow travelers, visit Sunday Scribblings.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

One Deep Breath: Childhood Story

What a great prompt. I have thought about this all week. Would it be the trials and tribulations of learning to ride my bicycle, or learning to tie my shoes, or a family vacation. Last night, I spent time with my twenty-three month old granddaughter, We danced. The spark ignited.

tap shoe performance
sequins, top hat, county fair
tap, tap, tap applause

lessons continued
empty living room for practice
big dreams,big wishes

what? really? a shoe lost
no money to replace it
dance with grand child now

My parents waited a long time to furnish the living room. It was a place to practice. And when I lost my shoe, no extra money to correct the carelessness of a child.
Thank you Chris of Tears Shed on Paper for the prompt. For more, head to One Deep Breath.

Six Degrees of Separation, Well Maybe Twelve

Last week I wrote about Parade Magazine’s America’s GivingChallenge. My friend and colleague, Peggy Padden. Two of her three sonshave been diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia (Jake died in 2003 from it).
Have you heard about Kevin Bacon’s six degrees site?http://www.sixdegrees.org/. It is a major sponsor of this contest. And you know the idea, everyone is connected by 6 degrees of separation.
Peggy and I are. My daughter went to a wedding a couple of years back in Seattle. I knew that Peggy was going to a wedding at the same time in Seattle. She had just lost her son Jake, and social outings were very difficult. Well, Charlotte, my daughter, calls and tells me she saw Peggy at the wedding. I couldn’t believe it. It turned out that a cousin on Charlotte’s husband side married a cousin from Peggy’s husband’s side of the family. See six degrees of separation…(well, actually probably 12degrees).
So…I am hoping that you will donate to the cause, keep the Faconi Anemia Research Fund at in the top four. Please be sure to select the charity badge and donate through the badge.Here is the site: http://www.parade.com/givingchallenge?source=pressAGC.
I find it interesting that the two top charities are about saving animals. I totally believe that animals should be taken care of and rescued and save. I also believe that no parent should ever be forced to join the “I lost a child club” and hopefully, through research, a cure will be found for Fanconi Anemia. Please consider donating.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Paying It Forward

Here are two great ways to “pay it forward”. I hope you might be able to help both.

America’s Giving Challenge by Parade Magazine:
I posted about my friend and colleague Peggy Padden about a year ago. She is on my hero list. She lost one of her three sons’ to Fanconi Anemia and her youngest has the disease. She is active in creating opportunities to raise money for research.
Just this last week she sent an email:
“As many of you know, in 2003, 2 of my 3 sons were diagnosed with Fanconi anemia, a life threatening genetic disease that leads to bone marrow failure and cancers. My son Jake, 21 at the time, tragically passed away 8 mo. after being diagnosed. My youngest son Spencer, now 20 is stable and doing well as a sophomore at University of Oregon. It is just a matter of time before the disease manifests itself in him as well.You may have seen an ad in Parade Magazine Sunday about America’s Giving Challenge. $50,000 will be given out to each of 4 U.S. based charity groups that get the most online donations by Jan. 31st. Not the most MONEY, but the most individual donations! Each person can only donate once.
Guess what? The Fanconi Research Fund has made it to the top 4. Let’s keep it that way and make it to number 1. Please consider going to the site and making a donation. It is the number of individual donations not the amount.

Books of Love:
Nina was three when she lost her struggle to Fanconi. She spent many days in the hospital and yet children’s books were hard to find. Nina loved reading. Therefore, Megan Spears, a family friend, decided last fall to do something. She started a book drive, “Books of Love” in memory of Nina. The goal is to collect and donate 500 books to Child Life Department at Doernbecher Hospital.

Books can be sent to:
Books of Love; c/o Megan Spears; 40335 McCormick Court; Sandy, Oregon 97055
I hope you are able to either send a book, make a donation or both.

One Deep Breath: Moonstruck

The prompt at One Deep Breath this week is "Moonstruck". My journey took two paths.

moonset, 2006

mysterious light
peeks out behind shrouded veil
hidden companion

luscious square melts
bittersweet, creamy taste here
Moonstruck chocolate

For more, please visit One Deep Breath.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Photo of the Year: I Made the Top 100

Oregon Garden Frog 2007
Please vote for Mister Frog at http://www.photooftheyear.net/
Vote for it and nine others in the "Top 100"
Vote for it under the category of water (You can only vote for one in this category)
Voting concludes on January 13, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

One Deep Breath: Frost

sparkle fringe outline
seize the diamonds-quick
vanish before us


frost dancers line edge
quickstep into the new year
pirouette and poof!

For more thoughts on frost, visit One Deep Breath.