Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


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Books and Blossoms

blooming appleGood morning, all. Don’t you just love spring? Everything changing from shades of gray and brown to soft colors. Remember in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps into Munchkin Land and the film goes from black and white to color?  We watched that movie on TV every year when I was a child and I always watched it with my own children too. Several years ago I took a trip into the Adirondacks of New York, up to the St. Lawrence Seaway and then over into the Green and White Mountains. From there into Main and up into Southeastern Canada. It was early March and when I left  everything was still wearing it’s winter garb. On the way home everything was still wintry looking until I entered Ohio. It was like the scene from that movie. Instantly it was spring with flowering Dogwoods, Redbuds, apple and cherry trees. Absolutely breathtaking. Now every spring when the colors come alive, I’m reminded of that incredible experience.

monkey_readingAt that point in time I was still reviewing books for different publications so I had a box of books stashed in the back and at night, I’d read. I was a voracious, little, reader monkey and took every opportunity to read. For the past few years I’ve gotten away from that. If I read a book a month I was lucky. This hadn’t stopped me from buying books though. Every time I’m out I buy books from used bookstores, thrift shops, library sales and of course new online. My ‘to be read’ pile has turned into a mountain.

Last month I decided I’d remedy that. I didn’t really hold out much hope of this plan having any kind of success. I always seem to be too busy to read more than a few minutes a week. I do ride my stationary bike almost every day and it’s a great time to read, but I was having a terrible time with getting books to fit. My hardbacks were too big and interfered with the movement of the handlebars. My paperbacks were too thick and I couldn’t easily turn the pages.

As I stated in a previous post, my dear hubby bought me the new Kindle Fire. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a physical book, but this thing is perfect for my bike, which allows me a lot more reading time. It’s also great for reading in bed. I’m able to read more times during the day now, thus increasing my books to be read to books finished. Unfortunately my new Kindle didn’t help me do as well this month because of all the work on the house. Last month I managed ten books, all hardbacks I bought except The Eye Dancers.

Here’s the list for March:

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

Secret for a Nightingale by Victoria Holt

The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi

Whispers by Belva Plain

The Eye Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

Woman Without a Past by Phyllis A. Whitney

Ghost Moon by Karen Robards

Courting Emma Howe by Margaret A. Robinson

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick

Here’s the list for April:

Long Time Coming by Edi Claire

In The Company of Others by Jan Karon

Still Reading  (Unlike most folks I never read one book until finished. I read several.)

O Pioneers by Willa Sibert Cather

Echoes by M. Jean Pike

Out in the Country by Kate Hewitt

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

So, my friends, read any good books lately? 


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The Eye Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

The Eye DancersThe Eye Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

On Amazon

Michael’s Blog

Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

My Thoughts 

I had visited Mr. Fedison’s blog and was intrigued by his book, so I went to Amazon and checked it out. I wanted to read the book, but it was obviously a young adult book. I passed it up and ordered a couple of other kindle books instead. For some reason I couldn’t get the story line out of my mind even though I was sure it was too young to hold my interest. I went back to Amazon later and used the look inside feature. I was hooked.

Okay, so the book was too young for my tastes, but I’m not ashamed to say it definitely held my interest. I was so into the story that I became annoyed with only being able to read it on my kindle for pc. This really limited my reading time. Then my husband bought me the new Kindle Fire HD. I love it and now I can read anywhere I want. As for The Eye Dancers, with my new Kindle, I finished it in one day.

Thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Although the story line is completely different, it reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time.

I loved that these boys became friends even though they didn’t have a clue as to why they were friends. Granted they were completely different in personalities and interests, but they were all misfits in one way or another. That was their commonality, but having such diverse personalities made working together to solve their dilemma more difficult. And they desperately needed to solve it and get out of this world where they didn’t belong and back to their own.

Kudos to Mr. Fedison because not only was this an intriguing story, but also it’s one of the most skillfully written and professionally edited books I’ve read in a long time. I could definitely see this as having been one of my favorite books as a child or teen. I loved it as an adult. If you like coming of age stories, stories of family and friendship, mysteries, sci-fi, other worldly adventures…ect., I believe you’ll like The Eye Dancers, no matter your age. And if you have a child from eight to teens who likes these types of stories, they will love this book.


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Bathroom Renovation Saga

Before Reno

Before Reno-Nasty

Most of you probably remember my older post when we first began renovating our atrocious downstairs bath. If not, you can read it here – (Bath Reno). When we started I thought two, maybe three weekends tops to complete the job. HAH! I was living in never never land. As I said in my first post it started with trouble and has been nothing but since. I think every problem that could occur did. Just getting the drywall/concrete walls and ceiling out took three days. Another two days to do some electrical work and put in the new ceiling light/fan combo. And yet another three days to hang the new 1/2 inch greenboard, add another week to finish, prime and paint it. I actually thought things would be smooth sailing from this point. I was back in fantasy land.

floor-before reno

floor-before reno

It was now time to hang the hardy backerboard in the tub/shower surround. I decided to let my hubby handle this part. Once again the screws would not go into the nearly eighty year old oak studs. He had to pre-drill all the holes. He was moving right along until I threw a wrench into the works. The seams of the backer board weren’t level. I told hubby we couldn’t hang tile on that. So down came the backerboard. He shaved the studs down to make them move level and hung the stuff back up. Then I reminded him, he’d forgotten the moisture barrier. Down came the backerboard. He hung plastic and the backboard went back up. I’m glad my husband loves me because when I told him one of the box inserts he’d built was in the wrong place because of tile placement, I think he would have gladly rolled me off a cliff. But he just grunted and took the backerboard down again, rebuilt the box and put the stuff back up. And did I mention the plumbing problems? Well I won’t. UGH!!

Heinous-upper wall down

Heinous-upper wall down

By this time, my dear hubby was about to pull his hair out and he just quit. Months passed and finally I began to nag. Now honestly I’m not a nagger, but this had gone on far too long. I wanted the thing done already.  I think he realized I wasn’t going to let up. He took a personal day and with the weekend that gave us three days to get it done. First we added new shut-offs to the water lines so we wouldn’t have to turn the water off to the entire house for three days. That actually went smoothly. Then we found we didn’t have enough tile left to do the floor. I knew this would be a problem since we’d bought it on clearance. There was no where to find that exact tile. Also the budget had to be kept in mind. My husband found some on sale and brought home a couple of samples for me to choose. One light, one dark. I chose the darker tile because it complimented everything we had in there more than the light. Okay I wasn’t thrilled with having different floor tile than what was in the shower surround, but at this point I was beyond caring. I just wanted it done. And is it complete. No, but it’s 95% there. We still have to caulk the molding, put in baseboards and have the guy come to refinish the tub. I decided to keep my vintage tub for various reasons. The main one being that I like it better than the new ones I looked at. It’s longer, deeper and narrower. Perfect for bubble baths. There’s two different processes for refinishing old tubs. One is the epoxy paint method and the other is to strip the top coat of enamel and replace it. That’s the one I chose. With a twenty year warranty, as opposed to five, it was a no-brainer.  Is the bath reno perfect? Far from it, but with a budget of under a thousand dollars–I think we did great. One thing I know for certain, I never-ever want to lay or grout another piece of tile–EVER. Here’s the pictures:

New Bath

New Bath

vanity

New Vanity

shower

New Shower Head

shower tile-built ins

Tile Inserts

shower tile trim

Shower Tile and Trim

medicine cabinet and lights

New Med Cabinet and Lights

New Vent/Light

New Vent/Light

commode

New Commode

 


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Patoka Lake and Patoka River Info and Pictures

Eric and I went mooching around at Patoka Lake and river last Friday and snapped some pictures. Thought I’d share the experience with you. Patoka is an Indian word meaning “log on the bottom”.

Patoka Lake:  At 8,800 acres is the second-largest reservoir in the U.S. state of Indiana, it spreads across Dubois, Crawford, and Orange counties in southern Indiana. It was created as a joint effort by The Army Corp of Engineers and Indiana Department of Natural Resources. It was created by going 118 miles above the mouth of Patoka River and building a 145 feet rockfill, earthen dam.  As well as Patoka River, the lake is also fed by several smaller creeks. The Lake has several parks and nature preserves  totaling 16,920 acres. The lake provides habitat for freshwater jellyfish and bald eagle nesting sites. River otters and osprey were reintroduced at Patoka by the DNR. The property was home to the DNR’s resident, non-releasable bald eagle, C52. This raptor lived at Patoka Lake from 1988 until he died in 2009, at age 21. I never got to meet this fellow because he wasn’t available for viewing the two times I was there. :( I did, however, almost run off the road once when one swooped low in front of my windshield.

Patoka River is 167 miles long and is a tributary of the Wabash River. The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area established in 1994, is a collection of wildlife refuges and habitats situated along the Patoka River in Gibson and Pike Counties in Southwestern Indiana. We also visited Jasper City Mill which is situated on Patoka River. They have a lovely park and whenever in the area, I like to walk there.

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Patoka lake-8

Patoka lake

Patoka Lake

Patoka Lake

Patoka River walk bridge

Patoka River walk bridge

Jasper City Mill

Jasper City Mill

Jasper City Mill

Jasper City Mill

Patoka River

Patoka River

Patoka River

Patoka River

Bald Eagle image from: Wikipedia


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Spring Break and Art Photos

Went to pick up Eric for spring break Friday, so I’ll be spending time with him and won’t be around much this week. He’s leased a house with one of his friends for August. I asked him if this meant he’d be moving away from home on a more permanent basis and he said, yes. Made me sad, he won’t even be twenty yet. But then, that’s what I get for doing my best to raise him to be independent. Stupid me. On a lighter note, I visited the art museum again and although my phone doesn’t take the best pictures, I wanted to share just a small sample of my favorites with you. :) There was such a glare on the sarcophagus that I could only get the head. As usual, you can click the images for much larger versions. See ya!

Music Instrument-Primitive

Music Instrument-Primitive

Sarcophagus Head

Sarcophagus Head

Roman Empire Tile

Roman Empire Tile

Monet-2

Monet

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Madonna Sculpture

Madonna Sculpture

Jackson Pollack

Jackson Pollack

Abstract-2

Abstract-2

Abstract

Abstract

3-D-2

3-D-2

3-D

3-D

Thornton Dial Piece

Thornton Dial Piece

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