I've a lot of news stored up to share with you! Hopefully I can organize myself and not overwhelm everyone. I think I will start at the beginning - isn't that the logical answer?
Firstly, my knee is still not 100 percent healed. This is due to my inability to remain still for any amount of time. I know that I'm supposed to be following the r.i.c.e. rule - rest, ice, compression and elevation... I'm not doing very well on much of any parts. Thank goodness its not anything serious or Miles would have to tie me into the chair (with my leg up, of course!) But now, things have become complicated by a fierce crick in my back. I don't know what caused this either - and I don't know how to fix it. I'm not complaining - rather, it sure makes me appreciate folks who have things like arthritis who have to live with pain and stiffness daily. I've more empathy for them. I accept there's a purpose in my affliction, God has a purpose for me experiencing this.
Now, the next thing I would like to share with you is some great summer reads. I am a book-a-holic, often having something like 40 out from our local library at a time. This includes many back-issues of magazines which I peruse and glean tips for you. I love art books and recipe books and decorating books. I love audio books and videos. I'd be perfectly content to find myself locked in the library over a weekend. I don't read every book I take out, I'm pretty discerning what keeps my eyes 'pure'. Its too lengthly a process to skim every book right at the library, so often if I don't see any questionable content on the first glance through then I take a chance and bring the books home. Later, if I get even a few pages in and there's anything unsavoury then the book simply gets turfed off to the side. And, to be honest, some books wind up as a big stack of doorstop simply because I lack the time to read them. I can still wish, can't I?
Ok, so with reading so much, it takes a pretty great read to keep my attention. I was told by some artist friends, that when someone submits a slide of their painting to be juried (professionally) that the jurors look at the slide for an average of something like 5 seconds each - so your painting better be eye-catching or it won't even make it into the beginning choices. So it is for me and a 'good' read. A good read has to grab me in the first chapter and pull me along with a strong storyline and characters with real character. I have to be able to identify with their lives - so much so that the words disappear and at the end I feel richer for having known them. A good book is never finished for me, it merely makes me thirst for more. Even better when there's a series. Another measure of a good book, would be if I actually recommend one to you!
Dreaming in Black & White
by Laura Jensen Walker
And this is what I'm doing - recommending some books. I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to these books were their covers. Something about the funky, edgy and fun graphics on the cover hinted at some entertainment within. A brief glance over the storyline, and also noticing the publisher was one who publishes Christian books, I popped them in my big yellow recyclable book bag. A few days later, I cracked the first book open - Laura Jensen Walker's Dreaming in Black & White. Well... had I known how good this book was, I would have set an entire day aside to inhale it! Unquestionably a Chick-Read, here's Laura's description:
"Not your typical size two chick-lit heroine, Phoebe Grant aspires to the madcap life of a forties-style career gal-she lives in a cool apartment (even if it does need a little work), works at the city newspaper (ok, she writes obits-but she's sure she'll get her dream job reviewing movies), and has a best girlfriend (that would be Lindsey) to play straight-woman to her life's witty script. In fact, aside from a steady stream of laughably bad blind dates, over-thirty Phoebe has a great life-even if her leading man appears to have missed his cue.
But when she loses her job and her mother breaks both arms, Phoebe finds her carefully constructed screenplay being re-written in ways she hadn't planned. And when Lindsey secretly signs her up for an online personals service, the script suddenly becomes a slapstick."
This book kept me highly entertained, laughing-out-loud so at times Miles would look at me askingly "What, what?"... Laura's writing keeps your fingers turning the pages without you knowing its happening. I was sad to come to the end!
And I did recommend this book to my friend Becky. Becky is someone who can really write. I gaze envyingly at her blog entries and simply admire how she's able to wrap her thoughts into such good journalling. I knew, even from a writing standpoint, she would appreciate this book too. And did she! After passing the book along to her, I received an email the very next day that she had read it in one sitting!!! Hmmm, is her husband thanking me? I'm not sure!
Laura's books carry a good Christian message, with humour - I love how her character Phoebe keeps counselling herself "Get over myself, already!"
Dreaming in Technicolor
by Laura Jensen Walker
At any rate, I had the next book in the series - Dreaming in Techincolor. Here's a synopsis of this second gem!
"Phoebe's family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She really, really misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey. But all that's bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-a real boyfriend to kiss on New Year's Eve!
But by New Year's Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency, newly engaged Lindsey has turned into Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe's morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare and flies to England. She's not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons.
What awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill (and beyond) is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle."
So, my friends, I am encouraging YOU to read these books. And that's not all! I was moved to email Laura to ask her if I might add her website link to my permanent links list. Not only did she reply within a day - giving me her blessing to add her, she also took the time to visit my blog and left me giggling with this comment:
"I took a quick (very quick as I'm on deadline :) look at your blog site--and aren't you the gorgeous thing! I'd kill to have hair like yours, but it's not gonna happen--until I get to heaven."
(Awww - Laura, does this mean I will have to curl my hair every day - as 'course for that one I had curled the dickens out of my mop, before going on a date with the handsomest man on earth - my husband Miles!)
And she added further that she's working on a new book, coming out in 2008, called Daring Chloe. And imagine my delight to find out she's got another book under her belt which I've not read yet called Reconstructing Natalie - which must be a fantastic read as it claimed the honor of being 'Chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006'
encourage you to visit Laura's website by clicking here. You may also look for her permanent link in the list at the left of my blog! Thanks Laura!
Alright, onto the next bit of news. Miles and I had a lovely unexpected lunch visit with our sister Nina and nephew Zach. The visit was only unexpected on my part - Nina had informed me in an earlier email/chat conversation, but it when whip, in one ear and out the other. I have selective hearing syndrome... and Miles made her promise to confirm directly with him for future dates. Nina did forgive me and we enjoyed a good chat and chomp - catching up. Zach, it was so great to spend some time with you, and we look forward to you coming sometime! And yes, Neens, I DO have your visit dates engraved into my grey matter...
And then, more news. Real news news. I've had photos featured on our local news three times over the past short while. The station always advertises for 'newshawks'... What they are seeking are people who happen to see something newsworthy who can take a few photos or video and submit it to the station. Well, it seems I've been in the right place at the right time, three times in a row! A couple of weeks ago I noticed a fire off in the distance between our town and the neighboring one. I grabbed my camera, snapped a few and emailed them off. They were able to use them for the news segment. Last Sunday, as Miles and I were heading home after lunch, we witnessed a grass fire just out of the town, so we drove up, snapped a few, emailed them off and they were used. And then today, after we left our sister in Keremeos we were stopped by the emergency vehicles (fire etc) heading west - so Miles caved into my desire to follow and see what was up. It was actually a scary looking car accident a few miles away. An s.u.v. type vehicle had left the road, rolled down a steep embankment and ended up in a pond overflow from the Similkameen River. It was a grim scene and we could not possibly imagine how anyone could have survived. I got many pictures and even a short video clip which I sent off right away. We saw the pictures an hour later on the local news. Amazing what today's technology makes us able to do! Thank goodness, according to the news, it was a single person and she was OK.
I'm looking forward to a quieter end to our week. We have some cooler weather, with rain and thunderstorms. I'm sure this is not what you were expecting from 'sunny okanagan weather' Nina!
I just have to share this video clip with you, which I found on the net. I've become fascinated with birds since moving out of town. We have so many interesting bird sounds assailing our ears and I'm slowly learning to identify them. We have a Catbird which sounds like the pitiful mew of a kitten. We have Phoebes, Robins, Loons, Ravens, Osprey, Wrens, Swallows, Bluebirds, Quail, Gulls, Homing Pigeons and even Bats. There's a whole mess of birds I'm not even aware of yet. Anyways, enjoy this amazing bird's calls - just click here to view.
Today in History:
1939 - The first surgeon to use fiberglass sutures was Dr. Roy P. Scholz of St. Louis, Missouri.
1942 - Shastakovich's "The Seventh Symphony" was first performed in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
1946 - Marilyn Monroe did her first screen test. She passed and was signed to her first contract with Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Of her 29 films, the first was "Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!"
1949 - Singer Harry Belafonte began his recording career with Capitol Records. The first recorded sessions included: "They Didn’t Believe Me" and "Close Your Eyes." Shortly there after, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t "commercial enough," and left him go. He went on to sign with RCA Victor for what would be a productive and very commercial career.
1950 - Walt Disney released the film, Treasure Island, to theaters. The film, filmed on location in England, starred child-actor Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.
1985 - Durhame, North Carolina native George Bell of Durham, claimed the title "Big Foot" with his size 28-1/2 shoe. George was the first place winner in a biggest feet contest, when at the age of 26, he stood 7 feet 10 inches tall.
1985 - In the first 3 days of its re-release, two years after its initial release, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" grossed an additional $8.8 million. That weekend, the film would place second behind another Steven Spielberg film, "Back to the Future."
BARB'S HANDY TIP # 293
Where Digital Photography/Tech is headed
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