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Things That Made Me Miss My Childhood Today:
  • Googling the game Zoom Schwartz Pifigliano after seeing it mentioned in one of my old scrapbook journals. We played it at day camp. And Buzz. Those were fun games. Why don't we play those anymore?

  • Copying the poem Animal Crackers for jackiejj. My mom used to read that to me, along with the poems about the Gingham Dog & the Calico Cat, and the Sugarplum Tree, and Over in the Meadow, and the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead.

  • Reading a chapter from Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator to Martin.

  • Watching the glee with which my children brushed their teeth this morning because of their New! Magic! COLOR-CHANGING!! toothbrushes. Plastics technology rocks!
My brother is a voracious reader, just as I am, but his tastes deviate quite widely from mine, for the most part. But every now and then he comes up with a gem. He was the one who finally got me to read Sherlock Holmes a few months ago, and now he's responsible for introducing me to one of the best books I have ever read...and I've read a lot of books. After having a hellacious 10-hour trip in the car from Holland to Germany, I was determined to beat my car sickness on the trip home and read something, because the thought of sitting still for that long AGAIN with nothing to do except referee the kids was making me want to cry. He gave me a gigantic paperback to try, 1076 pages long by Ken Follett. Now, Ken Follett isn't normally my kind of author. He writes adventure-thriller-spy-mystery-stuff, things I'm not really interested in reading, although I've read a few of that genre in the past and while I enjoyed some of them, they just don't do enough for me to keep me hooked. This book, however, is so completely different from everything else he's written that it's hard to believe it's the same author. If you've never read The Pillars of the Earth, and you want to shed your 21st-century skin and slip back into the Middle Ages of England in a way that will make you shake your head in a daze whenever you lift your eyes from the pages because everything around you seems so strange and foreign and wildly unfamiliar, I can highly recommend it. I read it in 2.5 days because I could It's a keeper.

Yesterday was a happy-mail-dance day. All that mail that was held during our trip arrived at once in a big envelope, and there were 2 little envelopes inside and they were for me! One was an absolutely stunning amethyst pendant wrapped in curling silver wire that I special ordered from the incredibly talented Kythryne Aisling at Wearable Sculpture; my early birthday present for myself. In addition, she included a lovely and completely unexpected pair of amethyst earrings! My thanks to chimeraesque for the recommendation to her site. I'm so pleased and I can't wait to wear it. :)

The other envelope for me was a copy of bluepoppy's book! It's a breezy and extremely readable book about feng shui for college students living in dorm rooms, and I wish I'd had a copy when I was in college, although to be fair, I'm a bit skeptical of the whole feng shui thing, or at least skeptical of the extremes to which I've heard some people enthuse about it. Regardless, a great deal of it seems to be common sense, and since there's a sad lack of that these days, I'm all for anything that genuinely helps people better themselves and their space. While I was reading it, I found myself thinking a few things. One: that I seemed to have been already intuitively incorporating a great deal of balance in my surroundings, according to the basic principles of feng shui. Two: that I wanted to know more and find out how the elements described in the book for small one-room living situations apply to large sprawling ranch-style houses like ours. Then I stopped halfway through and scribbled a list of things I wanted to improve and do during the next 2 weeks. This morning, I picked the book up again before I got out of bed and finished reading it, and then I jumped up, energized, and CLEANED THE WHOLE DAMN HOUSE. Bluepoppy! You sneaky thing!
mood: accomplished
music: Tanya Donnelly—The Night You Saved My Life


Ohhhh...I LOVE "Pillars of the Earth". Love love love love LOVE that book. I was introduced to it by my chemistry teacher when I was at the end of high school. That is one of the books that I can read more than once with pleasure. SO glad you tried it and enjoyed it. I recommend it to people all the time. :)

I can't believe it took me this long to find it!! If you know of any others like that or even vaguely similar since it's pretty hard to reach up to that standard, I'd be glad for the recommendations :)

Ken Follet's other work is pretty good, but it's all WWII-based. I've read all or almost all if his other novels, but in my opinion the quality of Pillars outshines them all. I'll keep my brain ticking for other books of similar caliber.

Yeah, that's why I never came across this one, I suspect, since WWII spy-adventure stuff isn't the kind of thing I like to read, and I knew that was what he wrote.

Your pendant is gorgeous! I'm happy to have enabled! Kythryne is a doll and fabulously talented.

beautiful pendant!! an early birthday present for yourself! You Rock!!!!!!!

That's the great thing about kids, getting to relive certain things from your childhood over again. That and seeing them get equally excited.

Remind me not to read that Bluepoppy book. I don't feel like cleaning the whole apartment.

That poem about the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead...and when she was good she was very very good..and when she was bad she was horrid...My mom used to recite that one to me every time I got in trouble. She said the last part in her scary "mad mom" voice.

But, um, see, that's the THING. You'll be so excited about cleaning it, and you'll whistle all the way through, and it will be fun, and the house will SPARKLE when you're done. :D

My Mom used to call me the girl with the curl right in the middle of my forhead...'cause when I am good, I am very, very good and when I am bad, I AM horrid.

Thanks for the book rec. Sounds interesting and it just might make my summer reading list. :)

Liz, If you like fantasy/swords and sorcery type, have you read Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series? It's my personal favorite... read books 1-6 when I was first introduced to it, maybe 10 years ago. Every time he puts out another book in the series, I get it and re-read the ones I already have (1-10 right now, #11 comes out this fall I believe, plus I picked up a prequeal he just wrote.)

If you liked Lord of the Rings, this makes that look like a couple comic books, compared to Shogun, for the size and scope. LotR will always be a classic, but I LOVE this series. Be wary, I find it difficult to put them down after picking them up... character develoment, unforseen twists, and the interaction between the men and women... LOL

The men always seem to think each other handles women so much better, yet in their heads they feel like sheepherders, while the women act/feel the same way around/towards the men. I don't giggle much, but it's extremely hard not to at least chuckle while reading these books, and seeing how the different characters think of each other.

Being a voracious reader, it's hard to find a series or author that enthralls me this much. Just my 2 cents, but hope you have been well. Haven't been on LJ for a while, had to swing by and say Happy Bday to morsan tho... :)


Hi Leif! You disappeared rather thoroughly, hope things are going okay for you. I actually have tried Robert Jordan, and despite being a big SFF fan, I just could not get into his books. I should probably try again sometime, though. I know so many people who love his stuff.

I know I *poofed* for a bit. Been more caught up in real-life during the school year, and some gaming this summer, chatting, meeting people online, etc. I guess maybe I should go post something in my own LJ too, instead of just replying on others' occasionally, eh? LOL

Things are going alright for me, will see about making a post on it soon. Not sure if you have ever followed my LJ, but I've never been a daily or even weekly poster. More just blurbs at times... heh. A way to say hej hej to my morsan, more than anything. :)


Love the pendant! I, too, enjoyed BP's book...although I can't say it inspired me to get up (I read it in bed) and CLEAN! But then nothing short of the imminent arrival of houseguests inspires me to clean to the degree you're talking about. :) Ken Follett, huh? Over 1,000 pages of Ken Follett? If you say, really, I trust your's just...1,000 pages of Ken Follett?! :) Glad you enjoyed it. ~Marilyn

I know! I would never have thought it. But I swear, it's an incredible book.

oh THANK YOU!!!!

only just saw this post now-- HOW did I miss it before?!!!!

So glad you liked the book . . . ~bluepoppy

Re: oh THANK YOU!!!!

But the house needs cleaning AGAIN, darn it! :P

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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