Wednesday, January 4, 2012


When I still had some available discretionary funds, I bought stacks of books, mostly used. Last year alone I ordered 84 books through Amazon. I also ordered 40 DVDs. I figured when the economy takes its last gasp, I'll at least have books to read and movies to watch. So I stockpiled books (and movies) the way some people stockpile canned goods. 

I like murder mysteries and thrillers, and I prefer male protagonists. I rarely meet a female protagonist I like. The one exception is Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, the spunky bounty hunter from Joy-zee. I read the first ten books in the series, maybe a couple more, and absolutely loved them. Then I chickened out, afraid the writing would read as though it had been phoned in, the stories redundant. 

As protagonists go,  Stephanie Plum is the exception, not the rule. 

Enter The Girl in the Green Raincoat, by Laura Lippman. It's a Tess Monaghan novel, the 11th in the series, but my first. I usually try to read a series in order, from first onward. I'm sure I looked at the previous books in the series, but obviously something just didn't click. Maybe because it was a Tess and not a Tom. And then I saw that luscious emerald green cover on Amazon and read the first page, and I was sold. 

It's a breezy read, both in length -- it's a mere 158 pages -- and in style. I loved the Rear Window set-up. In fact, I'm pea-green with envy it's now been done and not by me. Tess Monahagn is no Stephanie Plum. I can relate more to Stephanie than I can relate to Tess, but I'd like to try the first Tess book, Baltimore Blues. Once in a while a breezy read is refreshing. 

In other news...

> Just 9* this morning when I taxied grandchildren to school and 18* when I picked up Little M this afternoon.

> I discovered the "OFF" button will not, I repeat, will NOT turn on a curling iron no matter how many times you frantically hit the button. Amazingly enough, swearing doesn't help, either.



  1. Hi Kitty - glad to see you blogging again! We took a hit on our discretionary income, too. Effective Jan 1st, the great state of Michigan began taxing private and public pensions. If this keeps up and we don't get real change in Washington DC out of this election cycle, "hunkering down" is going to be the new normal for everyone!

  2. Hey, Mike, glad to hear from you! I know what you mean. My husband's pension this month was depleted by $95+ for health insurance, but I don't blame the company.

    As to blogging... I'm trying to stay clear of politics, but I'll doubt I'll be able to. How can any blogger not touch on the subject in 2012? We are living in interesting times after all -- unfortunately.

    What's new with you?

  3. I saw a post you made on the other day and followed your profile to get here. I'm keeping busy with volunteer work - I'm on three boards of directors: our condo association, the neighborhood homeowners association and the Michigan's Own Military & Space Museum. I've also been blogging for the past 4 yrs. I maintain a blog that provides information for our condo residents, but I only need to create two or three posts in an average month. I briefly tried daily blogging on military history and discovered how much commitment and creativity it requires - so my hat's off to you! I've also been busy looking after my elderly parents - taking them to their many doctor appointments and keeping track of their Rx refill and script needs, etc. Recently my dad's energy level is down to the point where he isn't up to driving so I've started doing their grocery shopping, too. 2012 looks like it will be an even busier year for me than 2011!

  4. My parents are gone now, but I am somewhat busy with grandchildren. When daycare fell through at the last possible minute, I told my son I'd drive his two to school. It was supposed to be temporary, as in a couple of months maybe but this is the 2nd year. I don't mind too much because I'm getting to know them better, and they me -- 9-y-o boy and 15-y-o daughter -- and it gives them some stability. Plus, I take my daughter's 10-y-o son to Mass on Sundays. What would our families do without us, Mike :~)

  5. I think it's really valuable for children to get to know their grandparents (and vice versa), particularly in a casual setting without their parents necessarily being present. My maternal grandmother died when I was 36 and I have fond memories when as a child I would stop by her house on the way home from school and we would chat over a plate of cookies. My paternal grandfather was the custodian at my school and I would regularly see him and receive a friendly greeting in front of my classmates. He passed away when I was 25 but I still remember going with my dad over to his house in the years prior to his death to help out with odd jobs, etc. On the other hand, my parents moved from MI to NC when my dad retired in 1984. My oldest was 3 and my other child came along two years later, So both of my kids grew up only knowing their paternal grandparents from annual vacation visits, unlike their maternal grandparents, who lived nearby, but not within walking distance. Their maternal grandparents passed away about ten years ago and my parents moved back here in 2009. While it's good that my now-adult kids are able to seem them more frequently, it's almost like they are politely interacting with elderly neighbors or friends of mine instead of with blood relatives. For me it's kind of a sad contrast compared to how they knew and interacted with their maternal grandparents. With both my children still living at home (ages 30 and 26) I think it's going to be a long time before Kathy and I will have the opportunity to meet our grandchildren!

  6. My father died two days after I got married. It wasn't unexpected; it was a blessing because he had cancer. I often think of how he would have loved our two children. Our son bears a striking resemblance to him in so many ways, not just physically.