Childhood reading

There is a book I have always remembered from childhood.  Except I could not remember the name.  I could tell you about the plot and that the characters in the book picked things off the land to survive and hid the death of their father.

Can you name that book?

Last week I googled the premise and it was no mystery that Google knew all.  Where the Lilies Bloom  by Bill and Vera Cleaver.

In one of those impulse buys I picked up the book.  I nearly got through the book already and will probably finish it off tonight.  (It is meant for Jr High school level is my guess)

It is interesting re-reading it.  I can’t tell you when I read it as a kid.  At home or for school?  I couldn’t have told you the name of the characters before but it is so familiar.  I keep having these “oh yea” moments as I get through it.

It makes me wonder why it left such an impression on me.  Probably the survival mode that the kids had to be in.

What book do you remember from childhood?


Audio (Book)

I do love listening to audio books on my commute.  The only problem is I lose track of NPR and the goings on in the world when I am engrossed in a book, sometimes that is good because the goings on can be quite depressing.

When I am reading a book, I tend to flip back to pages I have read in the past.  To remember a character or conversation.  I am not a skimmer, I tend to read every word and although not a super slow reader I am not a speed reader either.

One issue with the audio book, is if I am distracted by say some turkey who cut me off or very busy traffic that needs all of my attention, the book just keeps playing on and I miss little bits.

Well I enjoyed this fictional historical account of the real Sarajevo Haggada that when disc twelve was complete, I started right back on disc one and listened to the entire book again.

I love historical fiction.  The joy of this audio book included the voices and accents of the reader.  The main character is an Australian book conservationist and the telling of the centuries of this books history and all of the tragic periods it survived including the Spanish inquisition and the Holocaust.  Edwina Wren’s reading of the book was so enjoyable I listened to it twice through in a row.

One benefit is I got all the little nuances I had missed because of driving, it was just like being able to flip back in the book like I were reading it.  However if I had read it, I would not have nailed the Aussie accent that is now stuck in my head!



Yesterday after work I went to an olive oil tasting with my friend Jan.  The class was at a local store and included both history, health benefits and definitions of different varieties of olive oil.  I knew quite a bit about olive oil but still learned a lot and had a good time.

One of the facts that I found interesting is that a one tree only makes about three bottles of olive oil.  Three.  So a thousand tree orchard is considered a hobby.

We had three oils and three balsamic vinegars set up for tasting when we got there.  One of the oils had a polyphenol count of 645, it was very peppery and what I described as green.  This was not my favorite but Jan got this one just to have a tablespoon every day for those polyphenos.  After the class we could taste as many of the oils and vinegars as we wanted.  I tried a few of the vinegars and oils but not to much because until I brushed my teeth my mouth was still fully coated with oil.

I left there with a free bottle of olive oil, a bottle of vinegar I bought, a bunch of pairing and recipe ideas and a couple hundred calories added to my count for the day.  Oh and two books I bought as well one is Extra Virginity and The Pink Ribbon Diet…..what can I say its hard to say no to a good book, or good oil and vinegar for that matter.

photo(231) photo(232)


This was almost a perfect day.  Work was busy, but I got a lot done and had a walk outside in the middle of the day.

The weather was sunny and crisp.  True I had to scrape my windows this morning but the mountains were beautiful with the sun shining off the snow.

I had time after work to put this veggie lasagna together and bake before yoga and it made a nice light dinner when I got home. 


Yoga was fantastic….except that is the end of the series.  I went in sore from not stretching out properly after Tuesday’s workout and left feeling better, sore but a stretched sore.

Now I have my tea and am heading to bed with Keith Richards…what, did that sound bad?  It’s a great book and makes me want to dig out my guitar.

The Secret Life of Bees

Secret Life of Bees

I read The Secret Life of Bees this weekend.  After carrying it around for a
month I finally got to it, and finished it.

The story taking place in 1964 in South Carolina during the passing of the civil
rights act may have been a little more poignant just because I read it over
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and right before the first black president was sworn into office.

The story is a fun read, you feel for this 14 year old girl Lily.  It is her coming of age
story and coincides with the coming of age of the rights of blacks in our country.
Lily spends the entire book searching for anyone to love her and a lot of time
(as most 14 year olds do) day dreaming.

There is a lot that is far fetched in the story, but hey its fiction, and entertaining.

Tales of a Female Nomad: by Rita Gelman

Living at Large in the World


Easy read. Very entertaining. She didn’t start her Nomad years until she was 48 and this compacts about 18 years of travel into 300 pages. It was actually published 7 years ago.

I think she is was a courageous woman to travel on so little with so little and reaps a bounty of gifts from her experience. She shares them in a way that invites you to travel with her and experience them through her writing. It was fun to read about places I have been, Mexico, Seattle, Vancouver and New Zealand. Other places she travels in the book include Nicaragua, Thailand, Bali, Guatemala, Israel and Galapagos Island.

At the end of the book as a her email address and her web site. After checking out the website, she is still traveling and as of two weeks ago was in Mexico.


eat pray love by: Elizbeth Gilbert

The books tag line is:
One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

This was a good read.  I would recommend it.  It took about 3 days to read during my bus rides to and from work.
It is a self memoir about the author’s year of travel to find herself and as the tag line suggests Everything.

After an ugly divorce and end of a co-dependent relationship she spends a year traveling, four months each in three countries.  The first is a four months in Italy where she “devours” the food, the language and spends time trying to get over her relationship.  This was a fun section to read and is probably in direct relation to the huge pot of spaghetti I made last week.

The second four months is spent in an Ashram in India communing with God and finding the spirituality within her, oh and finally getting over her relationship.  This was a beautiful section to read and her description of her friend Richard, who could vary well be my favorite character in the book was fantastic.  This section of chapters had me weeping several times, not out of sadness but more from the beauty.  I don’t think one needs to spend four months in a meditating cave in India to find that God lives within them; and most of us don’t have that kind of time or resources to follow that path.  However if you want to live vicariously though someone who did this is a beautiful way to read it.

The third section of four months was spent in Bali.  This section wasn’t as interesting a read (to me).  The descriptions and people are still interesting but the journey is about done and all of the work from the last eight months are over and this seems more like her way to figure out how to live with her knew knowledge.  Oh that and her happy every after of course.