sabbatical this weekend and read another Jane Hamilton book called When Madeleine (sp?) was Young.  It was very good.  I didn’t enjoy it as much as Disobedience, but I still loved it and couldn’t put it down.  I visited the library and picked up 3 books.  This was one of them.  The other 2 are The Centaur by one of my favorite authors, John Updike.  I started that, and I’m finding it a little confusing.  I am missing something.  I guess he’s switching back from being a man to being a god- half horse half man or something.  Plus, he’s allowing himself to be mistreated by this guy in the man life.  I’m missing something, and I bet I’ve started this book before, probably 30 years ago, and put it down right away because of this bit of confusion.  I refuse to do that because I love Mr. Updike, RIP.  Next I may check out a book of poetry, not sure.  I also have a few John Irvings to catch up on.  I also picked up Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.  I’ve wanted to read Woolf ever since I saw The Hours, which was wonderful. 

So I shall let you know if I can keep up w/ Updike’s metaphorical tome.  Might have to do a little research to understand what it is about more.  Will that help me enjoy it more or less?  If I’m not enjoying it by pg 75 (I’m on 34) then I may give up.  Or at least switch to Mrs. Dalloway and return later to The Centaur.  I get spoiled reading Jane Hamilton because she’s such a quick read, and her satire is more contemporary to me.

So, for now, I shall go back to reading.  I will say Elsie is attacking The Centaur at this very moment.  Is that a sign?  Yes, a sign that she wants my attention.  Ta Ta!


It’s only 24 hours since New Year’s Eve.  We went to Falls Church today.  It was nice seeing the boys’ maternal grandparents.  There’s a new baby in the family.  One of the boys’ cousins had a baby.  Actually he’s 14 mos., but was the 1st time I’d seen him.  What a doll!  He adds a lot of joyto their family, I think.   He’s a sweet little boy, too.  His name is Andrew.

I just want to shout out to 2 lovely ladies who write beautifully and offer me support in my writing.  They are on my blogroll but you can link them here:  Gerardine and Jaymie.  Thank you, Ladies, for your support.

I’m tired.  I stayed up late reading my book, and finished it this afternoon.  It was sublime.  Disobedience, by Jane Hamilton.  It was very moving.  The narrarator was a man, but a year from his life when he was 17.   I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it was because I could relate his responses and comments to my own sons’.   He was pretty angry with his mother for having an affair, and he was the only person who knew.  It demonstrated quite a bit how my sons see me when they are angry.  There was a lot of humor, also.  You could say dark humor.  I laughed out loud.  If a book makes me laugh out loud, it rates very high on my list!   I’m not sure if I would have gotten the humor as much if my kids weren’t that age yet.  I was impressed with her ability to capture the story from his point of view.  Her writing is just, a pleasure. 

Now I want something new to read.  Something entertaining like the Jane Hamilton book.  I checked the library.  The 2 books of hers I haven’t read are available at the library.  I may go over tomorrow and check one out.  Or both.  I’ve LOVED all 3 books I’ve read by her.

I started an author described ‘pamphlet’ by Gore Vidal.  He really has a point about our culture, and what it became after WWI.  It’s well written, but also a bit of a downer.  I feel like our culture is like the Roman Empire and something is going to happen.  I just hope it doesn’t involve too much change too fast, or extreme, prolonged suffering and loss.  If enough hearts opened to Loving One Another, as we are asked to do in the Bible and in every other religion, a lot of suffering would discontinue or not start.  However, if we continue the patriarchal, imperialist path we have been on for 60-70 years, that has been so celebrated and glorified, I believe we are in for a fall.  I don’t want to be negative, though.  There is One Love!!  The opposite of love is not hate, it is fear.  Peace on earth, Good will to all men & women.

We are in Norfolk, going to a banquet at Virginia Wesleyan, Andy’s college in a few hours.   We are staying at a new Holiday Inn Express w/ great contemporary decor.  Wish I knew it had a pool & gym, & the price was right.  It was a block of rooms for people going to this event.  I’m feeling…weird that I haven’t written on here in a few days.  Ever since my poem about Barrett.  Doubt he’ll see it; very unlikely that he reads his Mom’s blog–how boring!  Ha Ha! 

I read a book called Goodbye Mommy .  It’s by a woman named Lora Lee Boynton, an ex-Pat. living in England.  It is multi-faceted.  She has dealt with a lot in her short life (not even 40!).  This is lifetimes of lessons she is learning here!  I bought the book through a British publisher, which made it a little more expensive, but it’s priced low, so it actually is the same price as any hardcover you’d buy here.  I recommend it.  She is straightforward, honest, a very brave woman.  She has 4 sons, need I say more??  Check it out.

I’ve now started Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.  He wrote my favorite historical weather book ever, Isaac’s Storm.  If you have not read it, please do.  I can’t tell you yet about this one, as I have just begun reading it.  What he does is tell a personal story, nonfiction, set during or at the same time as a notable historical event.   He also wrote The Devil in the White City, which was a best seller, but I never read it for some reason.  I also ordered a book by Jane Hamilton, Disobedience, which I am sure I will love.  I loved The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World.  A Map of the World, of which I remember few details, but I do remember the most important, still makes my heart heavy.  Not for long, of course I wouldn’t let that happen, right?  Not me, Miss Obsessive???

Oh, Elsie has been a little sick.  She might have an intestinal infection.  I got a great dog sitter, Deb Harper.  Let me know if you need a dog sitter in the west end of Henrico.  She is wonderful.  Very laid back and nice.  Anywho, Elsie had bad diarrhea starting this morning.  She didn’t have any accidents, just not good when she’s going outside.  She seems to feel okay, not great.  So if she’s still not well tomorrow I’m taking her to the vet Monday.  I feel so thankful to have Deb taking care of her.  This is the first time I’ve had a dog sitter come in.

Oh, when we crossed Chesapeake & Willoughby Bays today on the way to Norfolk they were so beautiful.  It was a little overcast, but the water was smooth as glass.

I made a business/calling card.  Here it is.

I’m reading..


Still the large tome about the history of missing people.  Started a good fluff novel by Dominick Dunne, A Season in Purgatory.  It’s main character sound like he is based on a young Teddy Kennedy, and the family described sounds very much like Kennedy’s.  Won’t take me long to read.  I ordered a couple of books recommended by one of  my birth pod members  (born 11/23, like me!-younger though!) Kim, and a couple I’d been saving w/ a 15% discount from, who else? Better World Books.  Here they are:

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron (which I have somewhere in storage but I’ve no idea when I’ll see it again and must read now!) Me, compulsive?  Why, I …..

The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp (Excitation!  Not a painter, etc., but a dancer/choreographer!!)

Disobedience: A Novel, by Jane Hamilton (have read 2 other of her fabulous novels; so very interesting!)

Thunderstuck, by Erik Larsen (who wrote Isaac’s Storm, an account of the Galveston storm of the early 1900’s that took many lives and really destroyed Galveston Island.  It is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.) 

Speaking of birth pod members–what do I call them?  Well, Michael Mouskos is closest to cosmic twin because he was born a mere 5 hours after me.  One of my bestest friends, Amanda V.M., born 1966, Kim, born 1966 (I think), Ashtoreth, born 1967, I get confused, Mandy, Kim & Ashtoreth born around the same time,   Amanda’s Dad, Billy, RIP, not sure what year, probably late 20’s or early 30’s.  And RIP, Denise, my sons’ birth mother and Tim’s first wife.  She had the same birthday, born 1962.  I was born 1963.   So, anyone else born 11/23?  Isn’t it wild Denise and I have the same birthday?

Ta Ta, had to write something uplifting after my moribund poems.  Not sure if I used moribund in its appropriate context, but it sounded nice, don’t you think?



This tome is by Joyce Carol Oates and I started it yesterday.  It is very engrossing.  I can’t put it down.  I’m over half way through.  I’ve taken it everywhere with me since I started reading it yesterday, except the reception I attended.  It is sad, redemptive, authentic.  I am enjoying it very much.  I always thought this writer wrote romance novels, for some reason.  I didn’t know this before, but it’s an “Oprah” book.  If it’s an Oprah book, I usually enjoy it.

I want to read Mary Karr’s last 3 books.  She has 1 new one, a sequal of sorts to the 1st one, and a book of peotry.  I also want to read Jane Hamilton’s latest.  I read The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, which was stunning and beautiful.  I just checked-she’s written 4 since then, including the latest, so I will have to check them out, too.

I can’t believe I received my 5 books Thursday, and I am 1/2 way through them.  Let me know if you want me to pass them along to you.  I usually just take them to Goodwill after I’ve read them.