Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane: A Book Review

This book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, was a "Recommended Read" from Barnes and Noble. I checked out the reviews before I bought it and boy! were they diverse. A lot of people totally hated it, some people thought it held promise but didn't really deliver and then there were those who were completely besotted with it. The subject matter was intriguing to me, though, so I took a chance.
A synopsis of the book:
Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key secreted within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest to find out who this woman was, and to unearth a rare colonial artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge of herbs and other, stranger things. As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined. Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the trials in the 1690s, and a modern woman's story of mystery, intrigue and revelation.

So okay...a lot of the negative reviewers had a point. The author went into deep detail in some areas and yet failed to expound on certain points that I think should have been made more clear. She also exhibited a bit of "higher education snobbery" in the way she continuously harped on and on about the main character's journey towards higher learning. She imbued that "journey" with a near reverence that was a tad bit off-putting. Having said that, I must also say I did enjoy the read over all. I think the villain could have been a little more fierce (I had a hard time actually being "afraid" of him) but the story itself was fairly decent. I liked how the author took us back in time to clarify parts of the plotline. She really brought those people from 1692 to life for me. This was a first book for Katherine Howe and, given the job she did on this one, I believe I will read her next one, if and when she writes it. I give The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane three stars out of five on the Kari Hayes Scale of Readability (a scale that didn't exist until this very moment! lol).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beautiful Artwork and Scary Pants

Maddy decided to draw a family picture of us. Here's the beautiful result: That's a Punisher symbol above Jake's head and a Batman symbol above Kaleb's. Maddy has a sun because she's such a sunshiney kind of personality and she gave me a flower. Sweet, eh? Randey's symbol is a fishing pole (she knows him so well!). I asked her why Grandpa was so small compared to the rest of us and she really couldn't give a reason. She said that's just how it came out. I only asked because I wanted to make sure she realized her granny didn't still outweigh her grandpa. LOL It's a perfectly lovely family picture, though and I'll treasure it forever.
This, however, I would never treasure. Get a load of these pants! For Pete's sake! It looks like there's a load in these pants! Who would wear these ugly things? Honestly!
I hereby instruct each and every one of you to smack the T-total fool out of me if you ever see me sportin' a pair of these around town. And I promise, I'll do the same for you! Remember...friends don't let friends wear eyeball burning, stomach turning, butt ugly harem pants ever, ever, ever. I'm just sayin'....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Maddy and her Grandpa

Maddy decided that we really needed to meet Grandpa for lunch yesterday. We decided on Chick-fil-a since it's located right outside the base. Here's Moose with Randey after we'd had our chicken nuggets: And here's the real reason Maddy felt we needed to meet Grandpa for lunch:
She thought we could drop by Claire's Boutique while we were out and about so she could buy herself some purty hair things. (*smile*).
She shopped until she ran out of money (and even managed to help me get rid of some of my money, too!). That's one thing about the Moose...she definitely inherited the shopping gene. And being somewhat afflicted with it myself, I really can't complain too much. lol

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LOVED the movie! Loved it!

The new Harry Potter movie was fantastic. I can't wait to see it again (yeah, I'm one of those people who can watch a movie over and over and over!). Of course, they left out a lot from the book or so I felt - my son, Kaleb didn't think so (see his review below). Considering the movie was 2 1/2 hours long, though, I can understand why every little thing wasn't included. There was quite a bit of humor in this installment of the series causing most of the audience to laugh out loud throughout. I was very pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor, too, since so much of the story line is fairly dark. And speaking of the dark stuff, Kaleb was right about the silence after Dumbledore died. Dead (pardon the pun) silence. And then all I could hear was Maddy, my granddaughter, sniffling next to me. And the lady on the other side of her. And the people on the row in front of us. And,, too. (Hey! It was sad! Of course I cried. Geez!)
I give this movie two FIRM thumbs up and hope you'll all come tell me what you thought of it, if you go to see it (which you SHOULD!!).

We Have a Date with the Boy Wizard this Very Afternoon!

Randey, Maddy and I are going to see the new Harry Potter movie this afternoon (can't wait!!!!!!!). My middle son, Kaleb, went to the midnight showing. He left me his "review" of the movie next to the coffee pot. Here's what he had to say (if you aren't aware of what happens in the book and/or movie, you might not want to read this!!):

"Very dark, humorous at times. In my opinion, really good acting at the end.

Good and cool movie.

Didn't leave out much (except for cool Death Eaters vs. Order battle at the castle).

Very resounding and complete silence after Dumbledore died...almost couldn't resist saying "Sshhhh" really loudly."

I'm glad he did resist, though. Goofball. lol I can't wait until 5:05 so we can start the adventure ourselves. Woo-hoo! I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lunch with a Beach Kat, a Visit with Conner, Catching a "Throwed Roll" and Fun with the Family

Whew! It was a busy six days! First, the long drive to Florida (twelve hours if you don't stop for much). Then shopping and visiting and having fun before the long drive home. And here's some of what I did during my time there:
My sister Sherri and I drove to Sandestin for lunch with Kat @ Just a Beach Kat (Sherri lives in north Okaloosa County, which is one county over from Kat). This is Kat, me and Sher: Kat was kind enough to invite us to her home and then we loaded up in her golf cart for a tour of Sandestin, before deciding on lunch at Cantina Laredo.
Naturally, I was too busy admiring the scenery to get out my camera and take pictures of it. lol It's so beautiful there...Kat does indeed live in Paradise and seeing it through her eyes made it even more special. And I've got to tell you people, most of you already know that Kat and George have a beautiful home but something you may not know is that they have the most fantastic laundry room I've ever seen in my life. Yeah, I know...of all things for me to focus on, a laundry room seems rather bizarre. But if you've ever seen it, you know what I'm talking about. (Right, Rhoda?) Speaking of George, Sherri and I had the pleasure of meeting him while we were there. What a nice man. Very warm and friendly. We met Miss Daisy, too. She's a character! Full of energy and yet very well mannered. A wonderful combination!
Here's a picture of Sherri with Kat, taken during our tour of the area after lunch: And here's Sherri and me:
And I'd love to say "here's a picture of Kat and me", but I didn't get any! I don't know what I was thinking. I've really got to work on that camera usage thing, you know? lol Anyway, we had a wonderful afternoon and, considering that Kat was recovering from mouth surgery, I am doubly grateful for her time and efforts. Thanks, Kat! Sherri and I both had a blast!
This next picture is a random shot of Destin. I think I took it at the HarborWalk Village in Destin. Pretty, isn't it?
As I do every trip to Florida, I visited my grandson's grave site in Destin. I'm always amazed when I see that his toys are still there, every year just a little more faded. Whenever any of us visits there, we tend to bring a token to leave.
I found this to leave for him this year. It spoke to me when I saw it and I thought it was perfect for him.
One day, Sherri, my niece Megen and I all went shopping at Tanger Outlet Mall in Foley, Alabama. We went there in March when I was visiting, but this time we included lunch at Lambert's Cafe. This place is always packed and is famous for their "throwed rolls". There was hardly anything there that was healthy to eat. I was so disappointed (snicker, snicker). I struggled through it all though and suffered with the giant rolls, the chicken and dumplings, the fried potatoes and onions, etc., etc., etc. I know, I know...I'm a brave little soldier, eh? LOL
While shopping, we came across these aqua shoes. I had to take a picture of them. They crack me up. Looks like the latest in Big Foot type foot fashions. And for the low, low price of $70-$90, they, too, could be yours. Not mine, mind you, but certainly yours, if you're willing to pay the price. I figure if I'm paying that much for a pair of shoes, a pair of killer heels will have to be involved, not rubber toes.
And here's the obligatory picture of McGuire's Irish Pub, where I go everytime I'm in Florida, either the Destin or the Pensacola location - I'm not that picky. lol This visit we went to Destin.

And here's my totally crazy niece with her husband, Taron, at McGuire's. Megen's such a nut. I love spending time with her.
And here's a picture of my brother--in-law Ken's pineapple that he's been growing for 4 years. Lookin' good, isn't it?
Maddy Moose swimming in the pool at Sherri's:
We ended the visit with a night of game-playing at Sherri's. It was so much fun. Nothing like making an idiot out of yourself in front of family to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, eh? lol This is my nephew Joseph, attempting to make "sculptures" of a golf tee and a badminton birdie for a game we played. Check out that concentration!
It was a wonderful visit and, at the end of it, I got to bring Maddy Moose home with us for about 3 weeks. We'll return her the first week in August, at which time I plan to hit McGuire's again and very much hope to meet up with Kat yet once more. I've really got to stop trying to eat my way through each and every visit to that area, you know it? Thank goodness for Weight Watchers...they'll have me back in shape in no time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to count points again. (*smile*)