Monday, October 22, 2007

Catching up

I have so much going through my mind right now, I'm going to make this a bullet post so as to try to gather my thoughts.

** We had a really nice visit with my Dad. He traveled from sunny Florida to (mostly rainy and chilly) Minnesota. It's always great to see your child interact so easily with your parents, even though they don't see one another very often. We visited the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens which was a terrific place for my noisy exuberant child, and the Minnesota Zoo where we saw a moose for the first time. They are enormous!

** I didn't have much reading or computer time over the past 5 or so days, but did manage to finish one book, Almost a Crime by Penny Vincenzi. She is definitely my 'trashy' novel writer of choice. This book turned out to be a perfect read for the moment since I didn't have much time to read and it was easy to pick up and become quickly absorbed in the story. Also, I haven't been feeling great - this is shaping up to be the Cold That Lasts The Entire Fall Season - and my brain isn't working so well, so a light read was great. Almost a Crime is the story of a power couple that has to deal with the husband's infidelity. There was a lot of business being discussed towards the beginning (I mean, I did have a headache) so I wasn't sure if I would like this but I fell right into it. I think Penny Vincenzi does a couple things really well; first of all, the reader generally knows more than the characters so that creates an interesting sense of anticipation. There are a lot of characters and the action is never in one place for long - every couple of pages it shifts - I think this serves to make her fairly long books read very quickly, and the reader never has time to become bored with the story. I think this was one of my favorites of Vincenzi's books. If you like a big, fat, juicy novel full of romance, deception, and power based on the lives of what seem to be quite rich English people, you'll like Vincenzi.

** Mail. I have a lot of mail. The holiday catalogs are arriving with great speed and since I'm a lover of catalog/online shopping I will be perusing these with great interest.

** Blogs. Wow. Everyone is so prolific, my bloglines account is packed to the gills with interesting reading and I'll get to that over the next few days. Please forgive me if I haven't responded to comments from last week...I really only spent a few minutes online each day this past week. I do appreciate all your thoughtful comments and cherish every one. They are just the icing on the cake of this great blogging community.

** I almost forgot. I've had a request for a Butterfly Birthday party so I am working on planning that. I welcome suggestions!


Anonymous said...

I have at least 2 Vincenzi books here to read. I really like the covers. They look quite good and I'll get around to them eventually.

Glad you had a good visit with your Dad.

Nan said...

Tara, first of all, the author of At Home With Beatrix Potter is Susan Denyer. This is one I think is worth owning. You can pick it up anytime and look at the interior and exterior photos, and little drawings, with some text.

I can't imagine a moose in a zoo. Here they are everywhere, though we haven't seen one on our land for a few years. One morning we awoke to find two just below our bedroom window. But there are way too many car accidents, and deaths due to them. A young woman from my son's class was recently killed in a collision.

What are 'bloglines accounts?' I've read about them a few places lately. Something about being notified if someone posts an entry???

Does your Dad live alone in Florida? Whereabouts? Tom's folks are in Palm City (I think) for the winter months. Do you read Hiassen's books? Tom says they are pretty scathing about what has happened to Florida.

Tara said...

Kay, for me, Vincenzi is comfort reading and isn't too taxing.

Nan, thanks for the author's name - I'm going to see if the library has a copy, it sounds wonderful.

Moose are native to northern Minnesota - I suppose that's why they there is one at the zoo. We were sorry to see they had already lost their antlers for the year. is a website that 'manages' the blogs you read. I only use that aspect of it, so I'm not sure what else you can do there. Basically, you add the blogs you read to it and then you have a list. When there is a new post you are alerted and you can read the post right on bloglines or go to the actual blog's page. A nice feature I like is that you can flag posts that you're particularly interested in - I flag many with recipes that I'd like to try or just posts that mean a lot to me. It's nice that you don't have to keep going to all the blogs you read separately to see if there is a new post, it's all right there.

Yes, my Dad has lived alone in Florida for the past 11 years. He lives in Apopka, a town just outside Orlando. My youngest sister moved down there as well. I have not read Hiassen - I will check him out.

heather (errantdreams) said...

grandparents... I was going to say it's just so easy to interact with folks who are, in general, so loving and accepting. but then I thought of the grandmother I saw with her two grandkids at the doctor's office yesterday. she was pointing at words on a paper, and asking the little girl what they were, and if the girl didn't get them she'd tell the girl she was going to make her write it a thousand times, and "print it, and print it, and print it." I was just aghast...

Carrie K said...

I wonder if we have any moose in our zoos? Sounds like you had fun though!

Bloglines is wonderful.

Hmm, that book sounds interesting! Not my normal read.

Iliana said...

Hee,hee.. I remember coming back from my three week vacation, I thought I was never going to catch up on my blog reading! :)

One of these days I will read Penny Vincenzi. Her books sound fun.

Stacey said...

It must be fate! I am going on holidays next week and have been looking for some reading to take with me. Vincenzi fits the bill perfectly.
Thank you!!

Joy said...

Oh my goodness! I finally found you again! Something happened to your address and you have been poof! for months. I just did some browsing of your blog to catch up with you. :)

Tara said...

Heather, Oh, no - that's terrible! My experience of Grandparents has been all positive, thank goodness.

Carrie, it's definitely the first time I've seen a moose in a zoo!

Bookgirl, I cannot imagine how much there would be after 3 weeks - and I just cannot start fresh - I've got to see what everyone's been doing!

Stacey, thanks for visiting! I've taken Vincenzi on vacation myself and it's been a good choice for me. I hope you enjoy her.

Joy, hi! That has happened to me as well - most of the blogs I read are on bloglines now, but some I had just saved in my 'favorites' and I know some of them are gone now. I can't imagine how that happened. Unless my daughter had something to do with it.

Lotus Reads said...

Tara, so glad you had a nice visit with your dad...the sculpture gardens sound terrific!

About the Holiday catalogs, they excite me but also make me a little nervous because I start to realize how close Christmas is and all the shopping I will have to do. This year, my 12-year old has 4 teachers that I will have to buy Christmas gifts for...any suggestions would be welcome. I'd like to do most of my shopping online this year...with my new job I really don't feel like braving the crowds after work!

How are the preparations for the butterfly party coming along?

Tara said...

Lotus, goodness, you've just reminded me of the teacher gifts I'm going to have to buy! Eeek! In the past, I've given my daughter's preschool teachers things like candles and gift cards for coffee and book shops. I also hate running from store to store, not knowing what I'm looking for. That's why I prefer catalogs and boutiquey-type gift shops that have unique items. I like to give people things that they might not normally buy for themselves, not to say expensive things, but a little bit of a treat.

I've just placed an order with Oriental Trading for my butterly party supplies, we'll be doing 2 crafts, playing some games and hopefully that goes over well. Kids seem to expect so much these days!