Book Review: A Country of Vast Designs

24 Jul

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6895978-a-country-of-vast-designs

Excellent reading for a period of American history that is rarely studied.

James K. Polk committed himself to being the most consequential single term US President 1845-1849 by adding Texas, California and Oregon territories; reestablishing an independent Treasury and reducing tariffs.  The territorial expansion fulfilled the national “Manifest Destiny”…the goal of being a nation from Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans (sea to shining sea).

Polk was an unlikely candidate having lost two races for Governor of Tennessee.  (However, he had been the Speaker of the House for Andrew Jackson and a one term Tennessee governor.)  He won the Democratic nomination on the sixth ballot!

James K. Polk accomplished great things in an era when letters were delivered by horseback.  Railroads were a novelty.  Newspapers were the media for the masses.  Imagine!  The author Robert W. Merry brought authenticity with many quotes from Polk’s diary, congressional records and newspapers of the day.

 

Hot Dog! A New Sink

18 Jul
Hot dog!  An old fashioned exclamation of pleasure plus the introduction to my short story.

Best value!  $1.5o foot long hot dog and soda at Costco stores (Note:  chicken caesar salads are also great for $4).  We shared this opinion with Mom, who said she had not had a hot dog in a long time.  Next thing we know, she and Dad ate hot dogs when they ate out and bought some at the grocery.  Of course when we go to the grocery, we are thinking hot dogs and buy some to take home.  The twist in the story comes, when we discovered all our condiments had expired (it had been that long since we had hot dogs at home).  
I proceed to empty contents in the compost bin, some went thru the disposal, followed by disposing the bottles for recycling.  A couple of days later…under the old sink…it smells like ketchup and mustard.  The disposal failed.  New disposal ordered…hmmm…outlet and hoses and connections should be updated…might as well replace the sink too!  (The almond finish of the old sink went with the appliances we replaced 10 years ago.)  One thing leads to another and it may start with hot dogs.  Happy National Hot Dog Day 2017, Wednesday July 19th!

Summer Beauty

12 Jul

Golden Tiara Hostas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Photos: IChing No.44 Coming to Meet

23 Jun

Airport, ball park, Hawaii, London, restaurant, convention…

Book Review: Miramont’s Ghost

20 Jun

For my previous book review, I chose Matilda Empress because my niece is featured on the cover.

I chose Miramont’s Ghost because the author ‘Elizabeth Hall’ grabbed my attention.  Elizabeth being my middle name and Hall being my maiden name…I answered to ‘Elizabeth Hall” for over 30 years….no I am not the author….I like seeing my name on the cover 🙂

Miramont’s Ghost is historical fiction.  Most of the narrative is set in France in the early 1900s (before WWI).  It concludes at Miramont Castle in Colorado.  One theme dealt with the dilemma of Adrienne’s clairvoyance which disturbed her family and the community.  Later in the book, Adrienne pivots, realizing her insights could/should solve problems rather than “be the problem”.  This was a history subject I was not familiar with.  I enjoyed the drama revealed in this book.

Friday Photos: IChing No. 15 Humble

16 Jun

Paul Hayes USMC WWII,
tank driver, Purple Heart recipient with his wife Ruth (2012)

What’s blooming in the Moon Garden?

6 Jun

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/flowers/create-a-moon-garden

Campanula, EH Frost

http://www.perennials.com/plants/campanula-poscharskyana-eh-frost.html

Iris, tulip and peony blooms have come and gone.

Friday Photo: IChing No.32 Duration

2 Jun

 

Sometimes it helps to refer to Wilhem’s translation of the I Ching Hexagrams…No. 32 Duration…”The way of husband and wife must not be other than long lasting.” (p.545).  A 60th wedding anniversary absolutely qualifies!  Mom and Dad are going for 75!

Friday Photos: IChing No. 59 Dispersion

26 May

The most beautiful examples of “dispersion” (I can think of) are the stunning Chihuly glass sculptures displayed through out public gardens.  These photos were taken in Dallas in 2012.

For more examples of “dispersion” of art in the garden:

http://www.chihuly.com

Book Review: Matilda Empress

23 May

 

I judged this book by its cover!  It features my niece (one and the same with my previous post)!  Not only was she best in her class, but also a fashion model during high school working in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town, Singapore and more.

Matilda Empress is historical fiction from an obscure period of British History.  Matilda was the daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II.  The narrative is elegant with elaborate details of the days and times of 12th century England and Europe.  Descriptions of clothing, meals, medical treatment, religious customs/beliefs and more…evoke an appreciation of the life and times.

The author does a lovely job introducing each chapter.  I needed more information.  I was lost a few times.  I recommend reviewing (then referring to) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Matilda  to follow the story which closely follows the historical time line.

My favorite character is Greta, Matilda’s lady’s maid… for her devotion, dedication and resourcefulness during decades of service.