...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Teaser...

Hosted by:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere in the middle
Make sure to share the title and author of the book

My teasers come from pg 197: The Virgin and the Crab by Robert Parry:

To the very south there is the river, the broad Thames with its teaming populations of ships and small craft, while all around there stand the mighty ramparts that mark the boundaries of the fortress itself - the numerous towers and turrets in which prisoners are kept in all manner of conditions ranging from the most damp and rat-infested holes to rooms which by many people's standards would be considered quite palatial, even if not luxuriant in certain instances, depending on the status and wealth of the occupants.

Enjoying this book very much!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Royal Freaky Friday...

While traveling in London this past summer one of the highlights was visiting the Tower of London. So much history stored up in that place. I particularly wanted to see the infamous "Traitors Gate". It was eerie! One could truly imagine the boat pulling in through the gate with the prisoner being let out at the bottom of the stairs, then climbing up the stairs to be imprisoned waiting for execution.

Originally Traitors Gate was called the Water Gate which was commissioned King Edward I to have a water entrance into the Tower of London which was used at the time for Royal family accommodation. Over the years the Tower became a prison for traitors to the crown. To be imprisoned in the tower you had to be of some notoriety, otherwise you were sent to Newgate prison in London.

Most people will associate The Tower with Tudor history and rightly so. More imprisonments and executions were carried out in the Tower in this era than any other time period.

The journey for the condemned would start on the river Thames in a prison barge. The barge would sail down the river under the London Bridge which usually had the heads of recently executed prisoners on spikes for all to see. After passing under the bridge the barge would sail through the river entrance to the Traitors Gate coming to rest at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to St. Thomas Tower, one of 23 towers in the Tower of London
complex. This grisly practice would continue until 1648.

Some of the most famous people to make this journey were Anne Boelyn, Sir Thomas Moore, Catherine Howard, and the Lady Jane Gray. While Catherine Howard passed under the London Bridge she would look up and see her former lover Thomas Culpepper's head on a spike, thus she arrived at Traitor's Gate hysterical. Queen Anne upon arriving at the top of the stairs asked the Tower Constable if she were to be thrown into the dungeon. He told her she would have the same accommodations as she did on the eve of her coronation. Queen Anne began to alternately weep and laugh hysterically at this news.

Lady Jane Gray at Traitors Gate, Tower of London

Traitors Gate is closed now only to serve as a reminder of a grisly and sad past.

Suggested reading below. Please feel free to add to the list or mention other notable Tower prisoners. Some I have purposely left out to draw in some comments :-).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Royal Trivia...

The Origin of the Prince of Wales: During the Reign of Edward I he conquered the Welsh people. They knew they were a conquered people, no one could defeat the mighty army of the King of England. Edward was so taken with his new country that he renovated Caernarfon Castle in north Wales. There his 11th child Edward was born on February 1, 1284. He was the 2nd living son and would become the heir to the throne. Alfonso, Edward's 1st son would die within a few weeks.

Edward II the 1st Prince of Wales

The Welsh people wanted to have Prince of their own, one that was born in Wales and could speak neither English or French. He must speak Welsh. The Barons went to the King with their request. He thought it was a good idea. He wined them and dined them, and then brought out his infant son Edward, declaring him their Prince of Wales. He was born in Wales and he could speak neither English or French. He promised them that he would make sure that the first language the Prince would learn to speak would be Welsh. He asked the Barons if they would be willing to serve his son as the Prince of Wales. What could they say? They agreed and on 10 May 1301 when Edward was 16 years he was formally invested as the Prince of Wales in Lincoln.

From this time forward the heir to the Crown of England has been formally invested as the Princes(ses) of Wales. It is not a hereditary title or conferred at birth, it must be conferred in an official ceremony. The jewels that the Princes have received over the centuries as gifts now make up the official Crown of Wales.

Suggested Reading:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mailbox Monday #1

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page

I haven't posted Mailbox Monday before because I do not always receive books during the week or I receive too many to list all at one time. However; I did receive a goody this week.

Virgin and the Crab: Sketches, Fables and Mysteries from the early life of John Dee and Elizabeth Tudor by Robert Parry

Robert was good enough to send me a copy of his book to read and review. I checked him out on Amazon and he has received excellent reviews.

Product Description:
The brilliant young mathematician and astronomer John Dee has one overwhelming obsession:liberty. Abandoned and humiliated, Elizabeth Tudor has one simple aim: survival. What will happen when these two are thrown together by circumstances neither can anticipate or control? This is their story as Dee and the mysterious brotherhood of the Rose Lodge - working against almost insurmountable odds and threatened by a vengeful and unforgiving Queen - attempt to guide the nation towards enlightenment and stability. Here, a parallel universe of secrecy and faith is revealed in which the unseen forces of nature support all that is visible and real - a place, too, where the special alchemy of the Virgin and the Crab works its magic, growing from childhood friendship, through adolescent flirtation to mutual respect and admiration as together they prepare to sacrifice everything for the world they wish to inherit. "One of the most extraordinary and yet untold relationships of the Tudor age."

I am thrilled at the prospect of reading this book. It sounds like it is right up my alley for the genre I love to read. What could be a better read than something royal, especially Tudor royal!!

I will be posting my review soon.

Thank-you again Robert for sending me your book!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's Old Friend...

Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz is a relatively new friend. My husband purchased this book a few years ago while we were on vacation. It sat on the shelf for quite awhile until about 3 years ago I picked it up and started reading it. Here again it is a true story with animals so I found it very appealing. When my husband first bought the book I wasn't really interested ,I thought it would be about training dogs and that's just not my speed. I was very happy to discover it was about Jon Katz, a journalist from Manhattan purchasing a sheep farm in Bedlam, New York.

Did Jon know anything about farming? Heck No, but he was going to find out. He had always dreamed of owning a sheep farm and at least two Border Collies to help with the herd. Finally when he was in his mid 50's and very close to retirement he fulfilled his dream and purchased his sheep farm, collies and moved out of the crowded city to become a farmer. The story is very entertaining, full of humorous exploits of Jon learning how to tend sheep, a farm and train dogs. His wife, family and friends thinks he's crazy, but humor him along. The towns people of Bedlam have their doubts about his capabilities, but are there to give advise, asked for or not.

Winter sets in and Jon for all his preparation is really not prepared for the bitter minus zero weather. The winter brings about discouragement, loneliness and illness. It will be Jon's neighbors who come to his rescue, with their unselfish acts of kindness. His insight through-out the story is very thought provoking. I have laughed and cried in this book. I have shared his story many times with my friends. A very heartwarming story full of humor and drama.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I have created an Old Friends Week. I hope you will all join the fun. This weekend my husband was cleaning out our garage and he came across a box of books that had been stashed away for quite a few years. He was thrilled to find these books. He told me later that it was like getting in touch with some old friends again. That got me thinking about how I have a section of my book shelf that is just for old friends like these. You know what I'm talking about, books that you could never get rid of to a thrift store, or garage sale. These are books that you go to and just pick out parts to read over and over again. They bring you such comfort. I believe we all have these Old Friends in our book shelves and I think it would be a lot of fun to share with each other our Old Friends and why they mean so much to us. I have decided to go ahead and create a link picture you can post on your blog for this week or when ever you come across it. Just pick an Old Friend from your shelf everyday to share with all of us. Think of how all of our horizons will be broadened with new authors to investigate. It will be fun to see how many of us share the same Old Friends.

I am going to start with All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott. I would say this book is probably one of my oldest friends on my shelf. I found this book 33 years ago when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I had such miserable morning sickness it was hard to function. Everyday I would put my 15 month old baby down for a nap and I would take that time to nap myself and read. My friend brought this book to me and insisted I read it. She just raved and raved about it. It looked good to me. It was a true story about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the late 1930's. I love true stories and I love stories about animals. From the very first page I was hooked! I read the book twice before returning it and was happy to discover that the sequel All Things Bright and Beautiful was already published and the same friend had a copy. I devoured that book the same way and was so anxious for the the third book All Things Wise and Wonderful to be published. I was the first on the reservation list at our local library.

Over the last 33 years I have read and re-read these stories countless times. Every chapter is an individual story. These books have truly been my friends during happy times and dark times as well. When I need some happiness and grounding in my life I will just grab one of these off the shelf and go to bed with it. They have become an institution in our home, my children know the stories, they have read the books several times themselves and I believe most of them have their own copies. I am sure many of you have read these books as well. BBC has done a wonderful job of creating a series based on these books. Check these as well. Available on NetFlix. I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wedensday...

Edgar Allan Poe
American Writer and Poet
January 19, 1809 ~ October 7, 1849

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Climbing out of the rut...

Have you ever been here where you pick up book after book and nothing talks to you. Ever since I finished Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnely I have been in a rut. I can't seem to finish a book. They start out pretty good and then become so boring to me. These are all books that I have had on my TBR list and I am so disappointed that I can't get into them :-( .

After going through 4 books like this during September I think I've found a book that will do it for me. It's an Oldie but Goodie to be sure. Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I loved Wilkie's Lady in White. I have a TBR pile that is at least 4' tall but for some reason I just need a diversion, something to climb in bed with that won't put me to sleep. So far so good with this little gem. Wish me luck that I can stay interested, I have to get out of this rut!!!!!
Would love to hear your reading rut stories!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Halloween theme...

As you can see I get bored easily :o ). Autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors, I love the spooky, I love the fun family get togethers. I decorate my house for Halloween. I dress my dogs, I dress all my dolls up, we just generally have a lot of fun.
I think it's because October marks the end of the heat for us. I can actually pull out my cute sweaters, etc. for the office. Had to get my blog up to speed too.

Winner of Hampton Court Portrait Giveaway...

Congratulations Marie Burton of Burton Reviews you are the winner!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Free Forum Friday...

I haven't posted much at all this week. One of my very good friends is dying of cancer and it has really bummed me out. Also hearing news about Roman Polanski has made me truly sick and very fearful for our society. I have just wanted to scream about all this, and the best way I know is to utilize my blogging forum and my right to free speech to do it.

Here goes... if any of you have any doubts to Mr. Polanski's guilt or are in a mind to defend him in anyway please take the time and read the actual March 11, 1977 Grand Jury testimony in regards to this case. I warn you it is not for the faint at heart.
Catch the link here:

I have heard arguments this week that it wasn't really "Rape, Rape" and/or he suffered as child and his wife and unborn child were murdered, he's just a little crazy. Are you really going to tell me this is justification for drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13 year old girl? I don't think so!!! There is no justification for these horrific crimes. And if our society will actually defend this man because he is a so called "artistic genius", then we are no different than the ancient Athenians or Romans and we are truly on our way to hell in a hand basket.

For the record I will not be a bystander and say nothing, I am saying this as loud and to as many people as I can; Roman Polanski drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl. He is a pedophile. He needs to be extradited from Switzerland, brought to the United States publicly stand trial and serve out his sentence in prison along with all the other convicted sodomizers and pedophiles.
as the English Philosopher Edward Burke said: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I know there are so many others that feel the same way, please make your voice heard!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...