Sunday, December 9, 2012

Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)Warlord by Ted Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmmm. This one is tough to review. I liked it but I didn't finish it.

The story starts back in time with the murder of a British royal and then comes up to before Princess Diana dies. There are warnings and fears and intrigue. It is well written and well read.

So why didn't you finish it? Because the news stories before and after the death of the Princess are still too close in my mind. Such a tragedy! I just could not let it that close again.

Now, my husband (the one born in Scotland), he thinks it should get a 4 or 5. He liked it all the way through to the end.

I guess if you can take it as a story of any time and leave recent history alone, if you like good intrigue in your international murder mystery, you should give this one a try.
Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper, #13)Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series and the author and narrator and the characters! I love the primary characters and the voices/accents given them by the narrator!

Prosecutor Alexander Cooper and her crew are interesting characters as they solve crime. In this case, the victims are women who want bigger roles in their respective religions.

Why are they the targets? Who is behind the murders? Why so violent? How many lives will be lost? Will all Alex and her friends be unscathed?

You are going to have to go to your library or bookstore to get the book or audio (really good audio!) to find out, 'cause I'm not spilling the beans!
The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I resisted getting this book for a long, long time. 'don't know why. Heck, the movie was out before I used my credit on it. To be honest, I can't tell you why I finally caved! I can tell you it was not because of the movie promos!

It's a bit rough in places, as in the scene is makes this one cringe. Still and all, both dh and I made it though in record time and wanted to race back into my site and pick of any followups on these people.

O, we did watch the movie. This is one you should listen to or read as too much is left out of the movie. If I hadn't read the book, I think I would have been confused. I am suddenly asking myself if I would have rather read than listened to this book. Conclusion: listen! Great narrator with great book!
Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. WatsonDust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We've all heard of Jack the Ripper so we know he left a bloody mess wherever he struck, but fear not, it's not gorier than what you've already heard.

Now think about this: Sherlock vs Jack the Ripper?

How would he work the mystery? It's a grand starter for a story idea and it is well executed! You read or listen! You'll be glad you did!
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1)The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What fun for Sherlock Holms fans! No Watson in this one; just a young woman who is trainable to be his equal with her quick mind.

I will say no more as you know there is "mystery afoot"!
Stray (Shifters, #1)Stray by Rachel Vincent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't believe I ever hesitated to read Rachel Vincent's works!

I was afraid of gore! Oh, fear not, there is some but it didn't make me want to was appropriate for the story (but it makes easier reading/listening than it would seeing in a movie). But it is expected there be some. After all, this is a story about werecats!

Faith is the only daughter in the family. Apparently, the females are not as often reproduced as the males. She's a college student until she is recalled home by her father kicking all the way. It seems daughters of werecats are being has even shown up brutally murdered.

Is Faith more than a potential victim? Is there a love story? Are there some really good one liners? Is a somewhat typical family story? YES!

It is all great fun and you should give it a try...and if you like to listen to your books, you will enjoy the narrator's work.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's CourtThe Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court by Michelle Moran

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, you have to know this is one of my favorite writers so you know I was going to add it to my library and was pretty sure I was going to like it.

I loved it! I learned so much I didn't know about the time, Napoleon, his second empress, and some of his female relations!

I knew nothing about Marie-Louise! She comes across as a very bright, loving person and mother who had to endure a lot from Napoleon (who would have been considered an old man). Her father, King of Austria, really left her no choice in the marriage because not marrying the Napoleon would have put her beloved country into war with France. I don't want to ruin her story for you but I will tell you she and her son out lived him!

I've read of Josephine prior but the bits from her letters and seeing her from the eyes of others.

Ah, and then there is the sister-in-law, Pauline! She's something else! A great beauty of her day who would have herself married to her brother as was done in Egyptian times!

I learned that it was during the Napoleon's comeback that the French abolished slavery. Also a bit about the treatment of social diseases during the time (UCK).

Read this book for the history but also for a really good story!

O, if you like to listen to your books, this is great for there are multiple readers who are each good narrators!

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I needed this!

 a good friend sent me this and i just had to share!
cid:82B1DC1D081F4949949709651A366653@PhyllisPCThere is a factory in Essex which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms.

Well, Shelley is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 am.

The next day at 8:45 am there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee.
 cid:DDB438989B3F4BBE8089A64D31AB5CD8@PhyllisPCHe complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule. 
cid:82B1DC1D081F4949949709651A366653@PhyllisPCThe Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile upcid:DDB438989B3F4BBE8089A64D31AB5CD8@PhyllisPCAt the end of the line stands Shelley surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's. She has a roll of plush Red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles. 

The 2 men watch in amaze-ment as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.
The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Shelley.

'I'm sorry,' he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, 'but I think you mis- understood the instructions I gave you yesterday...'

'Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles.
If you don't send this to five friends right away, there will be five fewer people laughing in the world!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

What was your 'FIRST TIME' like

DO NOT try to eat or drink while reading the following

Just read this on FaceBook...keep food and liquid out of your mouth while reading.

Like everything in life, farts have a time and place. However, I never realized that in the wrong time and place, flatulence had enough power to alter my course in history.

Well, it can if it's the third date with the man of your dreams. And, if it makes his eyes burn. If God destined us to be together, I was one SBD away from foiling His plans (that's "Silent But Deadly" for you prudes).

It was about five years ago. I was trying to lose a few pounds so I was staying away from carbs. That's when I met my husband, Rob. On our first date, he booked the next two. He liked me. I liked him. Things were looking real good.

He picked me up in a Cobra, Mustang and his pathetic attempt to win me over with a car totally worked. I'm not shallow, but since I spent most of my twenties picking men up because I didn't want my hair to frizz in their non-air conditioned jalopies on 3 wheels and a 15 year old spare, I welcomed his fancy sports car with open arms.

We arrived at the restaurant and Rob was ordering food I hadn't allowed myself to eat in years. I didn't want to be "that girl" so I ate, drank, and oh, was I merry. Later we shopped a bit. Rob surprised me by buying an expensive pair of shoes that he caught me eyeing. Was this love?
That's when it happened. Gas strikes in two different ways - uncontrollable toots or sharp, shooting pains that feel a lot like dying. I thought I was dying. Not to make a scene, I told Rob I suddenly wasn't feeling well and probably needed to head home.

On the way home in his Cobra, he tried to hold my hand and ask me lots of questions, but I wasn't having any of it. The pain was so bad it felt like I was being stabbed with a bunch of tiny forks. Then I realized. My God, help me. I have a horrendous fart on deck. I'm in trouble. Big trouble.

The more I held it in, the more pain would shoot through my stomach and down my legs. I was even having to raise myself off the seat, gripping on to my door and the dashboard.
"Seriously, you need to hurry - I'm in a lot of pain." I managed to say through gritted teeth.
"Wow, it's that bad? What's wrong? Do I need to take you to a hospital?"

How do you tell a man you just started dating that the reason you're writhing in pain is because you have to fart?

Well, you can either tell him, or like me, let the fart speak for itself.

People, hear me. There was nothing I could do. As impressive as I am with sphincter control, this was out of my hands. Slowly, it eked out. The more I tried to stop it, the more it forced its way through the door.

However, to my pleasant surprise, there was no sound. I sat silently; sweat accumulating above my upper lip. Ok, maybe I got away with it. Maybe I'm home free. Then it hit me. Not an idea, a cloud. A horrific, fart cloud. Not in a, "am I smelling something?" sort of way. More like a "is someone dead and rotting in your trunk and am I in hell?" sort of way.

Suddenly, I panicked. "Roll down the windows!" I screamed (yes, I literally screamed it like I was in a horror movie).

"What? Why?" Rob asked, starting to freak out because I was freaking out.

"I can't roll down the windows, unlock it! UNLOCK IT!"

"What's going on?" Rob yells back to me, "Why are you ...." then it hit him. I could see it in his eyes. Was it surprise? Horror? Water started to accumulate at the base of his eyelids, "Oh my God, I CAN TASTE IT!" he screamed.

"Roll down the windows!" As I screamed, the toots started to flood out uncontrollably. I scratched and clawed at the window like I was being kidnapped. Rob, unable to see either by fart cloud or panic, kept turning on the windshield wipers instead of unlocking the window.
It was chaos. We were acting like we were under siege by gun fire. We were under siege alright, just not by gun fire.

Finally he was able to hit the right control and he rolled down our windows. We both gulped in fresh air. I was horrified, yet happy to be alive, then remembered I just farted on the man of dreams, then sorta wished I was dead.

We sat silently for the rest of the way home. Although the shooting pains had subsided, I now desperately needed to use the bathroom, in an urgent, explosive kind of way.
He pulled up to my apartment and before he could come to a stop I had already jumped out, "Ok, thanks for dinner, sorry about the fart, love the shoes!" and ran in to my apartment like I was running from the cops.

I burst through my door and ran straight for the bathroom, where I was finally able to unleash and make noises that no one should ever, EVER, hear coming from another person.
Then I heard it. Rob's voice. Right. Outside. My. Bathroom. Door.

"Anna? You left your shoes in my car and your front door was open. Where do you want me to put them?"

"Get away from the door!" I scream like Reagan from The Exorcist.

"Ok, I'm sorry. Are you okay?"

*toot* *toot* *splatter* *ungodly noise* "I'm fine, Rob - just leave the shoes there. I'll call you later okay?"

"Okay, are you sure you're ...."

"I'm fine! Get away from the door!"

This man! I mean, I love him, but take a freakin' hint!

Finally, I heard the front door shut, and the Cobra engine zoom away. I thought that was the last I'd hear from him. I didn't think it was possible to ever see a man again after he screams he can taste your fart after only knowing you for 48 hours.

But, to my surprise, I did. A couple days later, actually. Now we're married and he's lying on the couch while I type this. "It was your rack that saved you," he just lovingly reminded me.
Well, thank you boobs. You saved us. You saved our destiny.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ok, this makes me angry!

Georgia Passes "Women As Livestock" Bill. The Georgia House passed a Senate-approved bill Thurs. night that criminalizes abortion after 20 wks. The bill, which does not contain rape or incest exemptions, is expected to receive a signature from Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. According to Rep. England and his warped thought process, if farmers have to "deliver calves, dead or alive," then a woman carrying a dead fetus, or one not expected to survive, should have to carry it to term.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sand Sharks (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #15)Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my introduction to Margaret Maron's writing and Deborah Knott Mysteries. What great fun! Deborah is a judge attending a summer conference of district court judges. Things start right off quickly when one of the judges gets murdered. Of course Deborah is in the middle of trying to sort out 'who done it'!

Besides a good mystery, Margaret Maron show me a bit of North Carolina that my 4 nieces probably know more about that I as they were born and raised in North Carolina. I will have to share this with my sister as well as she spent time in that area as well.

Final thought: i you've ever wanted to know what a summer in North Carolina could be like. If you like a really good mystery. If you want to learn more about what things judges might think might enjoy this book as much as I. In fact, I have become of fan of Ms Maron's writing, I will probably been indulging in more of her Deborah Knott Mysteries! I want to not only indulge in some good mysteries but learn more about North Carolina...even more about what the judge will get into next!

Like many of my favorite mystery writers, this book can be read as a stand allow...but DO NOT use it as a 'patient book' will make you crazy waiting for another doctor's appointment or voting line, etc to find out what will happen next! Says the voice of experience!

Danny from Scotland makes me laugh!

What happens as he meets the Queen of England!

How can such a short day seem so long?

it started with a trip across dallas county to see the wound care specialist.

o, what's that about?

sorry, i guess i better update you. about a month ago, a pin prick of a hole appeared on my tummy...then a second one. they joined hands and made a larger wee hole. i was sent off to said wound care specialist and we (doc and dh and i) have been working on getting it to heal from the inside out. ...what an icky mess! 

what caused it?

damned if i know! the challenge body just wanted to make sure i wasn't getting bored is my best guess.

now, can we go back to my day?

we got to the appointment with 8 minutes to spare. noted because we got to the hospital early so i could grab for something to eat before the appointment. (two chicken tacos were wonderful!) from experience i always have a 'patient' book. (patient book = a book you carry in your purse for times when you have to wait...a doctor appointment, while sitting in the car while some one runs into the store ... you know, 'i'll only be a minute'...those kinds of things.) good think i did too! i got an entire hour to read! finally we are in a room. my lovely doctor enters and does her poking and prodding and we all talk about about the state of the wound and  how it is progressing. she leaves to be replaced by the nurse who dressing the skirt and blouse...just some packing, not bubble wrap...just some strips to try and keep the wound dry, topped with some seaweed product that much resembles the angle hair stuff used to make spider webs for halloween or used to decorate christmas trees. she's through and we are off!

next stop, egg roll express...wonderful chinese food take away for dinner! yummmmmm!

when asked where to next by him, i respond with 'i want to go vote'. and we are off!

we arrive at 4 something.  i go in to vote while dh and oscar stay in the van....with the chinese food. (oscar can't vote...he's a dog! dh can't vote, he's not a citizen.) dh has decided to eat his dinner while he waits for me...'probably will be 3 hours'.  he was wrong! it only took 2! 

most of the time we were waiting for the line to move. people about politics but other stuff; kids, coppell, etc.  one of the poll workers came by with an empty water bottle and gave it to the last person in line...that person was to tell anyone who came in after who wanted to vote, that the polls were closed and the hours for tomorrow. after about an hour, i went back to my patient book...finished that and didn't have another so just people watched and ease dropped. another poll worker came up to tell everyone not to worry about the pa announcement of the library's closing, they would be there until the lady with the bottle had voted.  she also wanted to make sure one had either a driver's license or a voter's registration...and if the latter, that it was signed.

i gotta tell you, all the poll workers were bright and cheerful. they thanked people for not only coming out to vote but for their patience with the long line....this at the end of what had to be a very long day for them! 

and the people in the line, every one was patient. i did not see one person leave to come back another day. people thanked the poll workers for being there to help all of us! 

maybe it's a southern or texas thing, all these people being so nice to one another. i hope it's not. i hope everyone, no matter what day they vote has an equally nice experience!

my wheelchair came in handy, not only as a foot reliever, but also when it was my turn to vote as it rose   (me) to the occasion so i could get up high enough to use the voting machine...meaning they didn't have to spend time setting me up.

as i, and others, left, we thanked the poll workers for their voluntarism as they thanked us for voting.

they thanked us for voting. think about it. i did. they were thanking me for 'exercising my civic duty'.  i was thanking them for helping me exercising 'right to vote'. my privilege to vote! me, a mutt american, a woman, a disabled person, a retired baby boomer person. i look back at all those who made it possible for me to vote and know what a privilege it truly is, my vote, and i rejoice!

I ALMOST FORGOT!  look at the marvelous sky that greeted me after i finished voting!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

You probably have to be from Texas to really appreciate this!

Just a thought on a possible stand in for Big Tex while he is being rebuilt. Big Ann.

It's this lovely?

St. Giles - His Bells (Spirits are painted in the night sky around St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh)
Charles Altamont Doyle (1832-1893)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


more chesty, the chewbaca. ok, i'm just a little obsessed!  even a dog needs a neck pillow sometimes!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chesty, my little Chewbaka!

My friend Sheila and her daughter found a wee dog by the side of the road with no collar or chip. She asked me to take care of him until she found his owner.

I got him a bath and doctor check out, shots and heart worm him neutered...and lots of love!!! In return, he has given me lots of laughs and a wee puppy kiss or two.

When he came to visit (looks like staying to me), he was all black except for a white patch on his chest. Now he is getting a white goatee and bits of white all over. With his very short little legs, he often bounces about, rather than running.

We have figured out that he is half poodle and half shawcher.

Ok, now for the baby pictures (even though vet says he is about 2):

ok, i'm sitting but i'm ready to pounce over there!

do you think i'm cute when i try to snarl?

watching you type is so boring!!!

what? what? can't you see i was napping?

chewbaca? you want to change my name again???

you are just silly! i'm going to go back to napping!

see how smart i am? i've already learned how to do 'paws up'!

she's not playing fair...that lid is to the cookie can! I WANT A COOKIE!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

the voice does sound like that of a teen with all the angst of those years. add to that the paranormal and you will enjoy the ride. i love the ending but i am not going tell you anything more than it was a lovely complex one!
Bad Blood (Alexandra Cooper, #9)Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do like this series! Really good characters.

This time we start in the court room with a man Alexander want to prove killed his wife.

During the story, I learned about the law and spousal abuse; the history of what lies below the city, how the city gets much more...and it will end under the city!
Artists in CrimeArtists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

i just could not get into it...too english?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bone By BoneBone By Bone by Carol O'Connell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

i feel like this book is probably a 4 or 5 with most mystery lovers. but i just can't! normally i like this author's writings. the book has all the things a good mystery needs, good plot, good characters and lots of twists and turns. i had great expectation, i thought for sure it would get at least 4 if not 5 stars. but it just never got there. i kept wanting to skip foreword but didn't as that is not fair to the writer. but from beginning to end, it just seemed to drag. i think mine will be a minority opinion so you may want to read other reviews or just read it for yourself to see what you think.

for country/western lovers merle & co

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

it's paranormal. you know that by the first word in the title 'angel'. trust me when i tell you these are not the angels you see in paintings or hear about in church. next word in the title is 'blood'. who's blood...angels? vampires? yes. and more, there are humans and vampire hunters!
it's about love and hate, it's a thriller (well, its got to be with hunters and vamps)!

WAIT! that word 'thriller' turns some people off. let's think about it a moment. i think there are 3 (the whole family can watch and read), pg (someone needs to figure out the maturity levels), and then there is the x rating (where there is so much violence and gore that you have to skip page before you can go any further or you just stop there because you don't want to throw up or have nightmares), i would give it a pg rating.

the narration is great! i had not problem following the characters as the different characters spoke or with the discriptives in-between.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New York Dead (Stone Barrington, #1)New York Dead by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

do you remember tv shows like 'dragnet', movies like 'the thin man', books by j. d. mc donald and richard prather, and dashel hammit? the lines or text were short and crisp. the hero was tough. he might appear to be beaten down, but you knew he was determined solve the case! women were ladies or 'dames' and either could be a 'villan' or not. men could be thugs or gents, innocent or guilty.

so you figured out 'who done it', but you had to finish it to see if you were right or had been tricked into following the 'red herring'. you had to see what trials the hero had to go through to solve the mystery.

the mystery here is: could a woman fall from a great height and land of a pile of dirt and live? our hero saw it with his own eyes. the victim's body has vanished. was it murder or suicide?

i loved the different voices of the different male voices! the female voices are not as well done but after first hearing, are acceptable.

there are some words my mother would not like to hear me say but seems correct for the characters and the situations.

this is not a 'cozy' read but not a blood and guts thriller either. it's just a good mystery.

View all my reviews
The Bone Doll's Twin (The Tamír Triad, #1)The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
book 1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i just finished this one and found the other 2 are also available. so my next step will be to snarf them up as fast as possible!

why? because it is a cliff hanger with wonderful writing and a really good narrator!

normally i dislike series books that have to be read in order but this is one is worth it! it has all sorts of .... weirdness (for lack of a better word). when the region is ruled by women, things are generally run well. when it run by men...different story. want to guess the sex of the ruler. you're right, a king! and things are not good.

the king has a married brother who becomes the father of boy, one girl. a things are really bad as the king and new uncle has seen to it that girls who would be in line for the crown are dying.

attending the delivery are a witch and 2 scorchers. the girl child must be protected if there is ever to be good new in the land...but how?

listen to find out for yourself and meet ghosts and warriors and people who go a bit batty. if you don't, you're going to miss some great lines that will give you a giggle, some emotions you will understand with just a bit of thought provoking ideas.

yes, i do highly recommend this book (AND two following it)!
The Oracle's Queen (The Tamír Triad, #3)The Oracle's Queen by Lynn Flewelling
book 3
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

what did i think?

i think people should buy all 3 books at the same time and read/listen to them in tandem!


because this 'triad' should be read or listened as one long, flowing, enjoyable book!

i'm just glad i got them from because i didn't have to wait until the next time i could get to the store or library!

i am not going to write review of each part because i have tried and i cannot do it without giving spoilers!

Hidden Warrior (The Tamír Triad, #2)Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling
book 2
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

what did i think?

i think people should buy all 3 books at the same time and read/listen to them in tandem!


because this 'triad' should be read or listened as one long, flowing, enjoyable book!

i'm just glad i got them from because i didn't have to wait until the next time i could get to the store or library!

i am not going to write review of each part because i have tried and i cannot do it without giving spoilers!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

i just finished this one and found the other 2 are also available. so my next step will be to snarf them up as fast as possible!

why? because it is a cliff hanger with wonderful writing and a really good narrator!

normally i dislike series books that have to be read in order but this is one is worth it! it has all sorts of .... weirdness (for lack of a better word). when the region is ruled by women, things are generally run well. when it run by men...different story. want to guess the sex of the ruler. you're right, a king! and things are not good.

the king has a married brother who becomes the father of boy, one girl. a things are really bad as the king and new uncle has seen to it that girls who would be in line for the crown are dying.

attending the delivery are a witch and 2 scorchers. the girl child must be protected if there is ever to be good new in the land...but how?

listen to find out for yourself and meet ghosts and warriors and people who go a bit batty. if you don't, you're going to miss some great lines that will give you a giggle, some emotions you will understand with just a bit of thought provoking ideas.

yes, i do highly recommend this book!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Did You Know

is the longest word typed with only the left hand

And "lollipop"
is the longest word typed with your right hand.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

Our eyes are always the same size from birth,
but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" 

uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak', and 'level' 

are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye 
is bigger than its brain. 
(I know some people like that also)

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing. 

The cruise liner, QE 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave 
was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. 
(Good thing he did that.)

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens 
than people in the world.

Winston Churchill

was born in a ladies' room during a dance.


Women blink 
nearly twice as much as men.

Bonus!! All the ants in Africa weigh more than ALL the Elephants!!

Now you know (a little) more than you did before!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The end of my marathon listening is both happy and sad. Happy to see what Ayla and her family are up to but sad because at the end, I want more. I want to know more of their adventures. Yes, there is an end but I love them and want to see them go on having adventures and grandchildren...ok, I'm greedy!

I've tried to come up with a good summary without giving away too much. Finally, I decided to share a bit of a publishers summary:

"...Whatever the obstacles, Ayla’s inventive spirit produces new ways to lessen the difficulties of daily life: searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals, experimenting with techniques to ease the long journeys the Zelandoni must take, honing her skills as a healer and a leader. And then, there are the Sacred Caves, the caves that Ayla’s mentor - the Donier, the First of the Zelandonia - takes her to see. These caves are filled with remarkable art - paintings of mammoths, lions, aurochs, rhinoceros, reindeer, bison, bear. The powerful, mystical aura within these caves sometimes overwhelms Ayla and the rituals of initiation bring her close to death. But through those rituals, Ayla gains A Gift of Knowledge so important that it will change the world.

Spellbinding drama, meticulous research, fascinating detail, and superb narrative skill combine to make The Land of Painted Caves a captivating, utterly believable creation of a long ago civilization that serves as an astonishing end to this beloved saga."

I hope you will become as much involved in this epic of the evolution of mankind with Ayla as the carrier as have I. For those who are interested in the archaeological finding put into story form, this is a series for you. For those who enjoy an epic story of survival in a hostel land, this is a series for you. My final hope is that I have stirred your curiosity enough to peek your desire have your own marathon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5)The Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, I got this audio from In this 5th installment, the couple with their horses and wolf, have finally arrived at his home. It is here she delivers their 1st child. As is their way, the couple teaches the tribe what they have learn from experience as well as the stops they have made with various clans they stayed with along the way.

Ms. Auel has been criticized for repeating parts of earlier books. If you, like I, picked up the books as they came out, you know how long it took for each book to be released, so you might have appreciated the refresher bits as it meant you did not have to reread the preceding books before starting this one. Also I am sure she realized that some readers might pick up a first book out of order, so she made their adventure much easier by filling in the back story.

Years ago, when I read the books, I was sorry there was not another book in the series. Can you imagine my joy at when I found out Ms. Auel had written another book? Finishing the listening of this book brought me up to date on the whole series. now it was time to start and finish the last book of the series in my marathon listening!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tea at Trianon: Priest Holes in English Houses

We interrupt this blogging about Jean Auel's series to send you over to Tea at Trianon: Priest Holes in English Houses.

You know how I love history from different times and places and blogs about them. Thus it will come as no surprise that I stumbled across this blog and fell in love...and I haven't read one of her books yet!

Wait till you see the travel tea case Marie-Antoinette carried!

For those of us who a) will probably not be going to England or b) probably would not have the time to visit and see all the priest holes, you have to read the entire posting (it will take you to another) where you will see not only stills but videos of them as well as get some good historical information along the way!

Go quickly my friends and enjoy yourselves as much as I!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

They said:

Ayla and Jondalar set out on horseback across the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe. To the hunter gatherers of their world--who have never seen tame animals--Ayla and Jondalar appear enigmatic and frightening.

The mystery surrounding the woman, who speaks with a strange accent and talks to animals with their own sounds, is heightened by her control of a large, menacing wolf. The tall, yellow-haired man who rides by her side is also held in awe, not only for the magnificent stallion he commands, but for his skill as an artificer of stone tools, and for the new weapon he devises that makes hunting less perilous.

In the course of their cross-continental odyssey, Ayla and Jondalar encounter both savage enemies and brave friends. Together they learn that the vast and unkown world can be difficult and dangerous, but breathtakingly beautiful and enlightening as well.

I thought:

I should see what others have thought about this book. Boy howdy, was I surprised by some of the comments! One comment was about her repeating things from an earlier book. Stop a moment and look at the different publishing dates. If you read the first one and then had to wait for the next one, you might appreciate the repeats so you remember what was going on from the last one. An then there are people like me who might find one copy but it is later in the series...those retells would put you right into the story without you having to go back to the first book to find out what is going on and who's who.

Sex. Yes, and people what to know about what might have happened in the past and if everyone is in the cave, everyone knows what is going on. So how did they handle the situation. How was the act different among the Clan than the Others? What we might consider rape today, might have been normal for one group. That's one of the things you are learning about as Ayla grows up and moves from one group to another. It is not gratuitous or even as graphic as some writers might have made it.

Wonder Woman and Superman? Ayla and her lover are compilations of the Others. The Clan shared a common memory and did not like change much. The Others did not have the memories so were more adaptable to change and building on one another's ideas and sharing for the good of all. She was both a shaman and a healer. I want to know what they used for medicine, did they ever do surgery, how did they deal with wounds? So all information and advancements were attached to Ayla. Many people of today are have the ability to pick up languages quickly...but there remain traces of their original accents, just like Ayla. Of course she is alway gathering things...they were 'hunter/gatherers. It was important that she find fresh food and well as food that will store well for winter and many of the foods that she ate while living with the Clan would not be available from one territory to another. She would have to find out what new things were safe to eat in the new areas. The same thing would have to be done with her herbal medicines...some she would figure out for herself but some she would find out when they visited in different camps.

Written or spoken, I really like this series!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The cave lion has taken off to start his own family, the filly has given birth to a colt, and the young blond man and Ayla have fallen in love. The are traveling to his home until they meet the mammoth hunters and are invited to stay with them through the winter. While visiting them, Alya rescues a wolf pup. People of the hunters are unsure of their safety but gradually become accustomed to him.

As we follow Alya, her lover, and the critters, we learn more about the land and the life of the people of the region. It is not an easy life but very interesting as is the continuation of Alya's story.

But now we must go on to the next volume! I am having so much fun with my marathon thanks to!

The Valley of Horses
by Jean M. Auel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alya has left the cave and the clan behind and finds food in the form of a horse. Unfortunately, the mare has a defenseless filly. She cannot leave this baby to die. She takes the filly back to her cave to raise with a baby cave lion she later finds. As she raises these animals she learns from them and how to use them. As the filly reaches the right age, Ayla learns to ride and the filly learns to help her by pulling things. This last is beneficial when Ayla and her horse are out searching for food and herbs when they come across two young men..."others". One blond like Alya who is close to death; while the other man is dead. She buries the latter and takes the former with her back to the cave.

Of course the story is much more complicated than what I have summarized, besides the story line, the above does not cover the her learning as she gets ideas and tries things. The learning is a condensation of what and how people of her time may have progressed, such as riding horses instead of eating them.

The oral story is very well narrated.

Now on to the next volume! (What great fun!)