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Saturday, May 26, 2012

"The Time of Our Lives" by Tom Brokaw

The Time of Our Lives: A conversation about America; Who we are, where we've been, and where we need to go now, to recapture the American dreamThe Time of Our Lives: A conversation about America; Who we are, where we've been, and where we need to go now, to recapture the American dream by Tom Brokaw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listening to Tom Brokaw read "The Time of Our Lives," I was reminded of the core values that guided the lives of my parents.  Growing up with them in a rural area, the concepts of thrift, integrity and lending a hand to neighbors and relatives were a way of life.  It seems that Mr. Brokaw grew up in the same culture.  So, his book was a refresher course that helped me to revisit the way those values were learned.

With a large world view and a reporter's skill in observation, thinking and writing, Brokaw has produced a brief memoir.  At the same time, the book comments on current culture - the perception of war, the economy, adult children, being grandparents, digital media, education.  He has not been a by-stander in life.

What did I learn?  Thrift is most highly valued in the west, mid-west, and, perhaps, most rural areas.  This may explain the narrow focus on reducing federal spending among legislators from these areas.

Enjoyable, informative and highly recommended....

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Happiness Squared

Meet Christian John, 6 lbs. 11 oz, 19.5 ", May 16, 2012!

     Two new grandchildren in two months, my happiness is doubled.  It's wonderful to meet these little people and know that their parents are solid folks who will raise them to be happy, productive citizens.  And, we will all have a lot of fun in the process.

     CJ is sooooo adorable.  Here are a couple more photos.
< One Day Old
Day of Birth       
               One Week Old              

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"U is for Understow" by Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21)U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The interesting premise dissolves into ho-hum sameness.  Grafton needs to freshen up Kinsey's character rather than reaching for a more outrageous plot.  It's Kinsey after all who keeps me reading this series.  She seems tired and less motivated in this mystery.

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"The Jefferson Key" by Steve Berry

The Jefferson Key (Cotton Malone, #7)The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Folks will go to great lengths to protect wealth.  Okay, so we all knew that, but Steve Berry really gives us a complicated and well-developed plot here that challenges the boundaries of what might be conceived of as "great lengths."  Presidential assassinations, covert missions, ambitious operatives, secret societies, torture, kidnapping, murder and even piracy kept me turning pages to the end.  And then I thought, WOW!

This was the first Cotton Malone mystery(?) thriller(?) that I have read. Yes, I will read another one.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chestnut Street at Park Drive, 5:50 p.m.

The lead goose stopped the traffic by standing in front of the car ahead of me and honking at oncoming traffic before the goslings stepped into the roadway.  Even the geese have adapted to life in a small town.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rufus Bear, 8/1/1996 - 4/10/.2012

Rufus' life with us ended on Thursday.  Battling cancer since December, he  remained my alarm clock, personal greeter, and companion.  His demands were few:  breakfast by 6 a.m., meds by 7, quiet nap from 7-10, more food, more nap, lunch no later than 1, nap, food at 4, attention, more attention, meds at 7, more food, companionship for reading, sewing, tv until 9, nagging for bedtime until I gave in, howling if got later than 11. I miss him.

Rob chose Rufus from the Teterboro shelter in August 1996.  When I arrived home from school, he was positioned at the end of the entry hall with what appeared to be a snowball in the palm of his hand. :)  Scootchamenz, our big, wandering tom cat, died the week before and I was a bit depressed about it. That snowball was a thoughtful, loving gift. :)

Little did we know our snowball would grow so large and be such a "scaredy" cat. But Clovis, who ruled the household, was top cat and had no patience for interlopers.  Maria fought back when Clovis over-reached, but Rufus headed for the closet.  He was afraid of friends, workmen, delivery people.  I think that Rob, Jackie and I were the only people who ever saw him!  Oh, and my sister Jackie because I don't think he could tell us apart. And, Kathryn because she radiates kindness.  He changed when Clovis and Maria were gone, came out of the closet and gradually approached for attention.  He approached more frequently until he took over our routines.  He was king of the household.