Date Joined: October 15, 2010
Last Online: September 22, 2017
Birthday: May 5, 1956
Country: United States
PLEASE NOTE (from October 2016): My dad, very ill for some time, went into hospice last month and passed away on Halloween morning. My whole family has been a little stunned, of course, and if you did not receive a swap from me on time or a timely rating, please know that you will. I will do all in my power to get everything caught up, but my head is a little off right now. Thanks for "listening."
I'm a widow, a recipient of a master's degree in 19th century American history and also work for a university. My favorite things are my grandchildren, cats and dogs, history (of course), genealogy (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France and of course, America), writing, mid-century modern anything, and art. I also love anything from the mid-century before, and I love trying my hand at stitching up some of the lovely things they used every day back then. Right now, I have three cats - a white and tabby male named The Artful Dodger (Dodger for short), a grey cat who walked in one day and is named Shadow, and an orange tiger named Shelby Foote (just Shelby most of the time). I also had a sweet little parakeet named Bailey, who has now crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to be with Ralph and all the others there. My dog Ralph crossed the Rainbow Bridge just after Thanksgiving 2009, and I sure do miss him! I recently got another dog. Her name is Ivy - she's much younger and a little larger than what I was intending, but the cats have adopted her, so I think she's staying! I was born in Indiana (Hoosier girl!), and have lived in Maryland, Massachusetts, California and Ohio as well. And I was fortunate to go to Europe with my young parents when I was eight. I have such fond and varied memories of all the places we visited, including being awakened in the mornings by the talking mynah bird who lived next door to my mom's life-long pen pal (where we stayed while in England).
I absolutely love the Harry Potter books. I also like the Percy Jackson series, Inspector Morse and Inspector Lynley series, Twilight series, and anything narrative about the Civil War. Although I feel there are many other books that are written better than the Twilight series, I do love this twist on the vampire tale. I'm just incredibly fond of quite imaginative young adult and middle grade fantasy. Another favorite is mysteries - Agatha Christie tops the list. Right now, I'm reading (concurrently) Christie's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" (again), Christopher Paolini's "Brisingr" (again), Elizabeth George's "Missing Joseph," Ted Widmer's "Martin Van Buren," John Seigenthaler's "James K. Polk," Stephen Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West," J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (for the 842nd or so time), and James M. McPherson's "For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War." It's no wonder I never get anything done!
I read - over one weekend (and it's been a long, long time since I read an entire book over one weekend!) - the most well-written, incredible book! Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I had been meaning to read it for some time, but it was just "on my list." I thought I'd better try to read it before I see the movie, so I started it Friday - and almost never put it down! For the most part, this is the period of history that I study, and I've always had a special fondness for Lincoln. But Grahame-Smith took every piece of history surrounding Lincoln and turned it completely upside down - and made it believable! Not to mention, it was well-written both within the text of the story and the journal entries - the writing style of the "possibly fake" journal entries blended perfectly with the real ones! I love this book! I guess at some point, I'll have to read his "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," especially since they've now made that one into a movie. I just never loved Jane Austen as much as some others.
An absolute favorite of mine over the last couple of years or so is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness - "A Discovery of Witches," "Shadow of Night," and "The Book of Life." They have to be 3 of the top 10! There is talk about making movies of these books, and I'm hoping they get on with it!
I've recently read a rather fun book - and totally different from what I usually read. It's called "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Have to warn you, the main character swears a lot! But wouldn't you, if you were stuck on Mars, the rest of your crew leaving after thinking you're dead, and no hope of any rescue ships coming along for about 4 years? It's really good (and, at least for me, the movie is one of the best book-to-movie conversions I've ever seen)!
Of course, I'm also reading the Outlander series - incredible story! And I just read the "new" Harper Lee book, "Go Set a Watchman." It's good, but some real shocking moments - and it's not nearly as good as its predecessor. I think you can read it alone and separate, but I think you'd benefit by having read "To Kill a Mockingbird" first.
I love Castle and Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I also love old shows like Ironside, the old Hawaii Five-O, I Spy, Columbo and McMillan & Wife. I absolutely love both British comedy, especially As Time Goes By, and some of the series that show up on Masterpiece Mystery, such as Inspector Lewis, Inspector Lynley, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot. And for some reason, I have a fondness for The Vampire Diaries (television show, not the books). And I just found a series of really cool TV movies with Noah Wyle called "The Librarian" - well, I just found them, even though everyone I know seems to have known about them already!
I recently discovered a lovely British series called "Rosemary and Thyme." Unfortunately, it only lasted about three seasons, so I think I've seen all of them, but it's wonderful! It's about two women - one is a botanist and one loves gardening - who meet and discover that they have a talent for solving mysteries. I also have recently started re-watching another British series called "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates" - a series about a woman reaching pension age who decides she can solve crimes - with the help of her young assistant Geoffrey, and her husband helps, too (usually more in the background). I love the show "Once Upon a Time!" Who would have thought there could be so many creative ways to intertwine fairy tales and give them different endings? I really have so many favorite characters on this show, but if I had to narrow it down to three (yes, three - because I find it impossible to narrow it down to one!), they would be Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold on the evil end, Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper on the good end, and The Mad Hatter/Jefferson just because. And now, since Jefferson has not been on the show for some time, I've waivered over to Hook/Killian as a favorite. I like his bad side, but he's so surprisingly good, too! But I truly don't think they could do without any single character - I love them all!
I just watched "Endeavor" last night (1 July 2012) on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. It's the back-story of Inspector Morse when he just started out as a constable. It was great! I still am watching it a couple years later, eagerly awaiting season 3!
My new favorite is "The Librarians!" I've seen the three precursor movies with Noah Wyle and loved them, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to this show. And it is great! What a cast, and what a premise! I love it!
A note or two on Doctor Who – I love the Doctor! I’ve been lucky enough to take an on-going online course through Syracuse University on the Doctor. So far, we have studied the first three doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee), and will continue on soon. We’ve explored some of the early episodes that I didn’t see the first time around, so it’s been fun getting to know these three doctors. I haven’t seen a lot of the next six doctors. I love the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and am loving the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi). But my favorite doctor is the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith. He was Amy’s Raggedy Doctor, and I totally agree (although I’m not sure about the fish fingers and custard – not to worry, I don’t eat fish, but just can’t wrap my head around what it must taste like – anyone had them?). I already knew that “bowties are cool,” but number 11 makes it real. So, “all of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?”
I like to knit, although I do it in spurts because too much makes my hands hurt. I also like art journaling and "recycled" crafts and crafts from old things, such as old typewriter keys and bingo cards and other old game pieces, and I love to write. Writing is my favorite "craft," whether fiction or non. I love the history I write about for school, and I have a couple of fiction projects in the works.
I have also recently ventured into junk/smash journals. I realized they were sort of what I was already doing in my art journals, and I love the look of layers and layers of cool stuff to look at and ponder! I love ephemera - any kind - old receipts, tickets, letters, magazine and book pages, vintage photos, anything that would have accumulated in households 50-150 years ago!
I also love the art of collage. Perhaps that is why I love junk journals, too. The idea of putting together some awesome images and colors and making them look even more awesome is food for my brain!
Oh, and by the way, my favorite color ever is yellow, and has been since I knew what yellow was. Close behind would be pale/mint green, orange, and turquoise.
Well, I want to preface by saying I haven't yet had a tea that I did not like. But my favorites are black and red teas. I love breakfast teas (favorite is Scottish), Earl Grey and Lady Grey, and Constant Comment by Bigelow. And I have a fondness for Welsh tea. I also like fruit teas, especially black teas with fruit. My favorite fruits are the berries, but I also like peach and mango. Surprise me!
I love postcards - blank and used - I think it's fun to see the old stamps and shorter addresses, as well as what someone was thinking about when they wrote on the card. My favorites are old ones depicting buildings, city and town scenes, advertising, children and animals. I have a fondness for old hotel/motel postcards from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s - particularly the kind that was in your room for you to use in corresponding with "those back home." I also like postcards that have a work of art on them, anything to do with books and clocks. Postcards that are from your area are nice, especially if they have the name of your town, state or country on them.
I will always, always send something out, and I will always rate what comes to me (and I usually add a heart if it's all there). Please, if you do not receive something expected from me, let me know. I will always try to make it right!
Also, you will see one lonely 3 rating among my ratings. This was a bit beyond my control as I sent it out on time, but the campus mail services I sent it through left it in the bins until about 10-12 days later (not the first time this happened - in fact, they also recently completely lost a rather large swap - but it will be the last time)! I put quite a lot of time and effort into the collage that was sent, so it really hurt to get my one and only 3. And though I've explained it to the rater, she will choose to let it stand. I think possibly she's a hard rater, anyway, because the other swap she received at the same time had a quite nice extra in it, but she chose not to leave a heart - not a big deal, but it helps me deal with the 3.
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