Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I can't share the top photo of my holding those shells enough! I adore it and I adore those shells! The colors make my heart sing!
After breakfast Sunday morning, Hubbs and I went for a walk on one of the few local area beaches that wasn't closed by Hurricane Sandy. They did sustain damage, but it wasn't as devastating right in that immediate area as it was around it.
Funny, or should I say, odd how that happens, isn't it?
Hubbs found the first of these shells and together we found the rest. I have an extensive collection of this type of shell (and many others!) from various local beaches and I'm never not amazed at the differences in their colors just from one beach to another.
I believe they are called, or at least nicknamed, 'Round House Shells.'
It wasn't exactly a Spring-like weather day on the beach Sunday morning, but it was sunny and Hubbs & I have missed being able to roam the beach this Autumn & Winter as we have in the years since we moved here. Hurricane Sandy closed our favorite local beach (as well as others) or literally took away smaller ones we've frequented. It's the first Winter since 2006 that we haven't gone exploring on The Hook. We're not much for the beach when it's hot & humid! But, neither of us wanted to go back home just yet. We needed to be outside, even if the winds were awful!
For more beach walk photos, click here.
Yesterday and today have been more Spring-like in the way of temperatures and my garden is beginning to emerge from its' Winter slumber! The Snowdrops have been in bloom along the back fence since last month but now the Crocuses are blooming! Bleeding Heart and Peonies are poking up through the soil and there are buds on the Forsythia. Y'all know I love my cold weather months, but I am ready for warmer days and being able to spend time outside not bundled up against frigid winds. I was able to spend time puttering around the yard in the morning and while Hubbs grilled dinner and I was able to take a short walk yesterday too, thankfully, because I felt I *had to* get out of the house for a while. (I do spend way too much time at home, more than I'd like to, but that's life with an uncooperative body!)
For more garden walk photos, click here and here.
How is Spring emerging in your neck of the woods so far?
Monday, March 25, 2013
|We found these beautiful shells during a walk along the beach yesterday.|
Then I went online looking for arthritis/fibro support groups and found none anywhere near where we live, here on the coast or up north.
Then a familiar feeling flooded through my entire being.
It's one of those days when things have come to a boiling point and I didn't know where else to turn. Then I remembered the solace I find here.
Once again I am under review and my health is being questioned by someone who doesn't have a lick of medical background and likes to make someone like me and my doctors jump through hoops and thinly veil threats that if we don't, my financial livelihood will be jeopardized. Nothing has changed and everyone keeps telling me because of that I shouldn't worry, they're just doing their job. But I doubt they consider how they make those of us who are legitimately ill feel while they're just doing their jobs.
I knew from the time I was originally approved that I would be reviewed from time to time, but I had no idea it would be like doing it all from the start all over again! Again. The first time was awful enough. 3 years, 2 denials (all because of a paperwork error!), 2 attorney's and going in front of a judge. The process is evasive, humiliating, upsetting and extremely worrisome. For me. Because that's what I do. When something serious comes up. I worry. A lot. A. Lot.
I feel like I'm being put through the ringer again. I am scared. I am mad. And I don't know how I am going to go through this every three to four years for the rest of my life (or until I reach the age of 'official retirement'). The rest of my life!
To say that I hate like hell that I, that we, are dependent on the fairly minimal income I receive each month is an understatement of epic proportions. It's a Godsend and a prison sentence. I have been wracking my brain every day since this review started trying to figure out a way I could replace that income, at the very least that amount guaranteed every month, with this uncooperative body and I keep coming up short.
I feel so helpless. Useless.
And I hate more than anything.
Keeping my burdens inside isn't healthy, so I am trying to release them, pray for the best and not let what I cannot control control my life.
I leave you now to watch The Prince Of Tides to the end for the first time.
Thank goodness I stocked up on tissues last week!
And Friendly's chocolate covered black raspberry ice cream bars.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|(Having wifi in the house again + a cold = 'command central' for today!)|
In today's Off The Shelf, I'm sharing with you an incredible debut novel, The Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski.
My journey with Bonaventure began here in February and though I finished reading the novel last night, I believe the magic of Bonaventure is far from over!
(**Spoilers Possible -->***)
"Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows Bonaventure's silence is filled with resonance - a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house oh Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.
Bonaventure's remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mere Letice, plagued by grief and long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed."
Despite Kimberly Brock telling me she knew I'd love it, I was very nervous about reading this novel! Even more so after author Rita, a kind & wonderful woman, and I began emailing back & forth. I mean, what if I *didn't* like it?! I don't normally enjoy novels that may be part mystery and have a child as one of the main characters.
But, I worried for naught and Kimberly was right.
The moment I pulled Bonaventure from the envelope Rita had sent it in, I knew something wonderful was about to happen. (And before I even opened the novel to start reading, I had an 'ah-ha' moment about my own writing while looking at the gorgeous book cover! More on that another time).
Rita's beautiful writing enchanted me right from the start and drew me into the ethereal, sometimes other-worldly life of Bonaventure Arrow, where the characters of the present are as haunted as those who've passed on. I could see these characters, feel them, hear them, in my minds eye. Bonaventure's hearing was such an experience for me! (I wish I could put that more eloquently, but I'm still unsure how). I don't think I've ever read a story about something like Bonaventure's hearing and I loved the journey it took me on as the characters around him journeyed for peace. I found myself hoping along the way that Dancy, William, Bonaventure, Lettice and Trinidad would regain at least some of the things they'd lost by novels end. I couldn't stand the thought of their forever living with the the loss of self, the loss of trust in the world and others, the loss of love, the loss of joy, the loss of innocence. I adored Trinidad, was relieved Adelaide got her comeuppance with no harm to others and was taken completely by surprise by part of the ending.
Here are just a few of my favorite passages:
"She was rocking him to sleep in the chair by the window when the suggestion of blame smoked in through the key-hole, for even a shut door won't keep blame away."
"She had no idea he could hear a bluesy trumpet in a French Quarter alley, or the shuffling of tarot cards in a Bogalusa sanctum, or the echoes of footsteps made by the Acolapissa more than three hundred years before, or the fog rolling over Saint Anthony's Garden some fourteen miles away."
"Bonaventure Arrow could hear conjured charms and sanctified spirits deep in the marrow of New Orleans. He could hear the movements of voodoo queens and the prayers of long dead saints. He could hear the past and the present."
Reading this novel was an experience for me and I don't often say that about books I've read. With her writing, Rita has captured what I love most about reading, whether a novel is set in the South or elsewhere: Descriptive writing that brings the setting and characters to life.
Tomorrow, from 2p-3p EST, there will be a twitter chat with Rita and SheReads! Be sure to follow the hashtag #SRchat as well as @SheReadsBookClb, @ritaleganski and @rockstar1023 on Twitter for the chat. (I'll be there too! @BloominChick).
There's still time to join in and discuss Bonaventure with us! Join me with Southern Lit Lovers on Goodreads here and for information on the SheReads discussion next week, click here.
Have you read Bonaventure? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
"May you always be blessed
With wall for the wind,
A roof for the rain,
A warm cup of tea by the fire - -
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart might desire."
-An old Gaelic Blessing
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®