Thursday
Apr192012

Reader's Rights

Reading should be an important part of a person's life.  Whether it is a magazine, newspaper, non-fiction book, or any other print material, reading is a must.  I came across these reader's rights again, in fact I posted them 2 years ago, but decided to post them again.  I think they are a humorous read that show us that reading doesn't have to be serious, just that it should happen.  You have the right never to apologize for your reading tastes.

Reader's Rights

You have the right to read anything you want.  

You have the right to read anywhere you want....in the bathtub, in the car, in the grocery store, under the porch, or while walking the dog.

You have the right to read in bed.  Under the covers.  With a flashlight.

You have the right to carry your books in your baggage at all times.

You have the right to read in exotic settings.

You have the right to move your lips when you read.

You have the the right to read the good parts out loud to your nearest and dearest.

You have the right to read and eat at the same time.  (This right, however, does not include the right to use food as a bookmark when you are reading library books.  Even if it's the very best potato salad.  

You have the right to read and make love at the same time.  Probably not in the library.

You the the right to read as many books as you want at the same time.

You have the right to throw any book on the floor and jump up and down on it (provided that you have paid for it first).

You have the right to ignore the critics at the New York Review of Books.

More importantly, you have the right to ignore the critics in your immediate family.

You have the right to stop reading a book whenever you decide it's not worth the effort, or that you simply don't like.

You the the right to refuse any book anyone else picks out for you.  Even if it's a birthday present.  (This is       associated with your right to refuse to wear any necktie or perfume you receive as a gift).

You have the right to skip all the boring parts.

You the the right to read the last chapter first.

You have the right to read the last chapter and then put the book back on the shelf.

You have the right to refuse to read any book where you don't like the picture of the author. 

 

Wednesday
Apr182012

Miss Lockwood

When I was a young girl living in Fort Morgan with my family, my Mom, Dad, and 2 brothers; I lived next door to a wonderful woman who influenced my life almost more than anyone. We lived on a peaceful tree-lined street in a two-story house. I always felt so special because I had my own room and my brothers had to share, little did I know it was just because I was a girl.

Next door to us lived an old spinster woman. I am sure now days we would not use the word "spinster", but that is how my mom described Miss Marian Lockwood. She was unmarried and lived with her own mother. By the time I knew her she was already retired from her job as a respected educator in the area. I don't remember Miss Lockwood's mother but I do remember the day my Mom told me that her mother had died.

Miss Lockwood would let us come over to her house next door. She, too, had a two-story house, although I never went upstairs. What made our visits so very special was that she would read to us. She had a big screened-in porch on the front of her house. It had lots of chairs, a wooden rocking chair and webbing lawn chairs. But the very best chair was not really a chair, but the most wonderful hammock. It was probably about 5-6 feet long, striped canvas with fringe along the sides. It was a metal-framed hammock, perfect for my little brother and I and Miss Lockwood to snuggle together with a book. Sometimes it was just delightful Miss Lockwood and I.

Well, we would sit as close together as we could and then she would read to us. She had a soft, mellow voice that seemed to give all the stories the perfect reading. Even today I can feel us sitting together listening to her voice. We read many books together but the two I remember the most are the Boxcar Children and The Five Little Peppers. However, I will never forget her love for Beatrix Potter books.  She had them all and we read them all!  I have my own set now, as well as copies of the original Five Little Peppers book.  Mostly in the afternoons we would sit there and spend time with all the children in those books and all the characters in the Beatrix Potter books.  I think I will always love Peter Rabbit, but actually Benjamin Bunny is my favorite. I think I liked Benjamin Bunny best because he got into lots of trouble.  When I was young I did not like getting into trouble. I know that she is the reason that I love to read, that I loved reading to my own two sons, and the many children in my classroom.  I love to share books with other people, and often times wish I had been a librarian.

Reading was not the only thing we did with Miss Lockwood. She was a gardener. Every spring she would prepare a big garden, hoeing, digging, planting and watering. Each of us would get to plant a row of something. We even got a little stick marker for our row. Watering the garden was one of our favorite things to do. Miss Lockwood spent lots of time on her yard as well. When we were over visiting she would tell us about the trees. We did not help with the care of the trees but she told us all about them. She had a weeping willow tree with white bark. She taught us to be ever so careful with the bark as it was easily bruised. To this day I love weeping willow trees. I have had a cherry tree in almost every place I have lived. And the reason is that Miss Lockwood had one.  

Collecting butterflies was another activity we loved to do with Miss Lockwood.  Back then, 50+ years ago; butterflies were quite plentiful on any summer day.  Miss Lockwood showed us how to catch them ever so gently in her butterfly net. We then took them into her house and gently, gently put the butterfly in a jar with some type of white powder in it that killed the butterfly. Sounds kind of gruesome and probably dangerous now, but then it was just something we did. Later we would take the butterfly out of the jar and she would gently spread the wings and we would pin the butterfly on a display board. I feel a bit guilty about this now; maybe we contributed to the demise of butterflies, but what memories of those beautiful creatures.

 Miss Lockwood's father was a doctor.  Of course, he was long gone by the time I knew her, but his office was still intact.  His office was a small single car garage sized building at the back of her back yard.  Inside were all the tools of his trade.  Now that I think about it, maybe he was a dentist, but either way, there were lots of intense, shiny silver tools all laid out waiting to be used.  We never went into that little building without Miss Lockwood, but she loved telling us stories about her father.  

Another special time I spent with Miss Lockwood was dinners she and I would go to. Just me, not my brothers. We went to dinners put on at the high school. They were cultural events of some sort like a Hawaiian night or Asian night. I would put on my best dress and marching coat that undoubtedly my mother had made for me. With white bobby socks and black Mary Jane shoes, I could not have felt more special. I would sit next to her at the clothed, marvelously decorated tables. As she would introduce me to her friends, I am sure I was beaming.

We moved away from Miss Lockwood and Fort Morgan when I was 10. We were excited to move as new things were happening for my family. However I know that it was a blow to her, as we were "her" kids.

I kept in touch with Miss Lockwood throughout my life through cards and letters. I invited her to my wedding and sent her birth announcements of my sons. For many years she would send me Beatrix Potter calendars at Christmas. When she was about 92 or 93 and I was in my early 40s, I went to visit her at the care facility she lived in.  That was the last time I saw her.  We commented on our birthdays as hers was the day before mine.  

 

 

Marian Lockwood

   

Last Residence:

80701  Fort Morgan, Morgan, Colorado, United States of America

Born:

11 Aug 1903

Died:

23 Nov 1997

 

Wednesday
Apr182012

My new website

I decided I was going to blog more.  I had Harper move my site to here, and I had Dylan read and critique my first story.  So here goes!

Saturday
Jul022011

Books!


Here is the list of books I have read since January 1, 2011. Some of these books I have actually read before, but I did read them again.  I love rereading books, it seems like a reunion of old friends.  :)

1. A Lake of Dreams - Kim Edwards
2. Spinning Forward - Terri Dulong
3. Standing in a Rainbow - Fannie Flagg
4. The Irresistible Henry House - Lisa Grunwals
5. The Good Daughters - Joyce Maynard
6. The Usual Rules - Joyce Maynard
7. The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks
8. Fly Away Home - Jennifer Weiner
9. The Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
10. House Rules - Jodie Picoult
11. Left Neglected - Lisa Genova
12. Room: A Novel - Emma Donaghue
13. The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown
14. What I Thought I Knew - Alice Eve Cohen
15. Cloud Chamber - Joyce Maynard
16. The Sea Monsters - Rick Riordan
17. Silent Scream - Karen Rose
18. The Water Giver - Joan Ryan
19. The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
20. 127 Hours - Aron Ralston (confession: skipped the middle part)
21. Her Own Place - Dori Sanders
22. A Turn in the Road - Debbie McComber
23. Crunch Time: A Novel of Suspense - Diane Mott Davidson
24. The Goodbye Quilt - Susan Wiggs
25. A Redbird Christmas - Fannie Flagg
26. Night Road - Kristen Hannah
27. Wrecker, a Novel - Summer Wood
28. Gone With a Handsomer Man - Michael Lee West
29. This Life is in Your Hands - Melissa Coleman
30. The Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett
31. Heidi - Johanna Spryi
32. I Still Dream About You: A Novel - Fannie Flagg
33. Julie's Chocolates - Cathy Lamb
34. Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
35. Montana Sky - Debra Holland
36. The Bride's House - Sandra Dallas
37. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
38. Wills and Cowboy - Monica Holloway
39. The Horse Boy - Rupert Isaacson
40. Driving With Dead People - Monica Holloway
41. Sickened - Julie Gregory
42. Noah's Compass - Anne Taylor
43. My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke
44. Double Take: A memoir - Kevin Michael Connolly
45. Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
46. The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean Auel
47. Beach Music - Pat Conroy
48. South of Broad - Pat Conroy

I read most of these books using a Kindle, which I love.  I sometimes use an ipad and sometimes a "real" book.  There is merit in all.  I have been known to read the ending of books before I actually get to the end, but the Kindle makes that a bit hard, so lately I haven't done that as much.  

Saturday
Jul022011

And Life Goes On!


I have had a busy and interesting several months. 

1. I have decided to put a moratorium on regular TV watching.  The main reason is that frankly there is nothing worth watching, and I watched quite a bit the beginning of the year and am tired of it.  So I hope to do other things instead.  I will however continue to watch movies with Netflix, (with Google TV), and Glee (with Hulu.com)

2.  I had a total knee replacement in April which has been a wonderful success.  Before the surgery, it hurt to go to the grocery store, shopping or anything like that.  I have had a pretty quick recovery, although I had to have a second surgery to remove an infected stitch.  I went to physical therapy for several weeks, but now I can do so much more than I could before.  I have very little pain in the new knee.  I am happy.  And I have my other knee scheduled to be replaced in October.  

2.  I decided I was going to read 100 books this year.  I am at 50 books so far, so I think I will make it.  I will put up a list later.

3.  I am starting to travel again.  I am going to Detroit next week for the National Exchange Club Convention.  In September, my husband, niece and nephew and myself are going to Chicago to see Harper and Hiromi.  And in October, I am going to Houston for Sweet Adelines International Convention.  I am excited.

4.  I get to see my son, Dylan (and his wife, Sarah) pretty often.  He is working for a digital comic book company in Boulder, and continues to do some freelance stuff.  Sarah teaches photography at a small high school close by.

5.  My son, Harper is the CTO for Obama's reelection campaign.  His wife, Hiromi, works  for KPMG, an accounting firm.  They are in Chicago.