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For the past summers, my local library, Richland Library, has a Saturday where it offers workshops and activities from ten a.m. to two p.m. They offer a variety of interests and in the past there’s been knot tying, writing, and arts and crafts. Last year I didn’t find much to tempt me. This year they had numerous ones that piqued my interest.

In order to fully participate, I arrived early. With construction ongoing, parking is always a problem. After grabbing the schedule, I made the rounds. There was Fiber Arts: Loom Knitting. I wanted to know if that was something my mom could do. While I was complimented on how quick I picked it up, I didn’t find it my cup of tea. Still, I got to know more about it.

There was DIY Cat Toys. Had to do that. I’ve made things for my kitties they appreciated. I walked away with two items for my sister’s cat as mine are sadly gone to Kitty Heaven. On the top floor they had Inflatable Archery! I had to wrap my head around that one, but, basically, it’s an inflatable target (big so no one can miss it) and arrows with like marshmallows on the end. Cool.

There was Friendship Bracelet Make and Take. I made and took, but I learned forgot about anything like this. My mind would wander and there went my braiding. It was a hot mess. I also learned about a local watershed, one they plan to make into a greenspace with hiking and learned some welcome drawing techniques. All in all, it was a good day. Should I move to another town, I’ll be asking them to have something similar.

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Twenty-five girls win scholarships to spend a week at camp. It promises a variety of wonderful activities, rock climbing, swimming, horseback riding in a luxurious setting. When the kids arrive, on the unnecessarily long and winding road, it’s anything but. Twenty-five girls. Five cabins. Five different fates. The first one being the cabin to which they’re assigned. Will they meet love? Will they be successful in the competition with the campers across the lake? Just surviving the camp may be the biggest challenge.

 

It was the teaser on the flap that made me pick this up. That and I’m a sucker for a book set in a camp. I never went to one and feel deprived. When I started reading, my initial reaction was that this wasn’t going to be as great as I thought. But I kept reading. So glad I did. I love this book.

With twenty-five campers running around, plus a few more from the other side of the lake and then the counselors, one would think it’d be hard to keep track of everyone, but Ms. McCoy tackled it with ease and I had no trouble. It helped that the chapters were divided by cabins. Some of the girls didn’t have names, but were called: The girl with a million freckles, and the girl with the thousand beads. This put an instant picture in my head.

This is a fast paced, action book with plenty of twists. Great read.

 

I was walking back home from someone who’d given me two donuts, Krispy Kremes. My mother loves donuts and I meant to give her the chocolate glazed, cream filled one to her for breakfast. The strawberry glazed one with sprinkles, I’d eat later. Maybe for lunch.

I wasn’t far from the house and when I rounded a corner, I caught sight of a gaggle of geese, seven I think. There’s a pond nearby and we see them occasionally. The lead goose took a step my way. Knowing they can get aggressive, I tried to plan my route to avoid them, but it looked as if they wanted to wander across the street, but hadn’t quite made up their minds. I stopped to wait and see what they’ll do.

The lead goose opened his mouth. I anticipated a hiss and the head bob that means ‘This is a warning. Leave!’ Instead, feet slapping on the pavement, it headed toward me. And so did the others.

Was this a mass attack? On me. And the donuts.

Donuts. It suddenly occurred to me that they might know I was carrying food. The person who used to live in the house in front of which I stood, used to throw bread out for birds. The geese didn’t want me. They wanted my donuts! Well, they weren’t getting them. Mama loves her donuts. She gives me hints whenever she wants one.

I barreled past the goose and his/her friends/family, and rushed home, donuts safe in my hands.

Sci Fi Magazines

Recently I was looking up information on new science fiction movies and t.v. shows. My go to place is the Internet, of course, but it always leaves me missing the hey day of science fiction magazines of the 1970’s – 1990’s.

Starlog. Anyone remember Starlog? I subscribed to that one and have nearly every issue. The past issues are free on-line now. It quit publishing right when the first Wolverine movie came out. I was looking forward to that one too.

Starlog kept me up-to-date with all the new movies and shows. I knew the directors, the special effects artists, the writers. Now? I sigh that I know so few of the modern names in science fiction. Even though I look on line, it’s just not the same. There are little boxes with pictures and text to click on and read about this and that, but no interviews and it seems so random.

Starlog wasn’t the only magazine I subscribed to, only I forgot the name of the other magazine and since it’s in storage somewhere can’t look it up. It started out different, not pandering to the movies, talking them up. If a movie wasn’t to par, it said that. And I appreciated it because some movies are not all that great.

Other magazines I got at second hand book stores. Star Burst, Cineflex, SciFi Now, Empire, Space Wars, etc. But no Fangoria, I don’t care for horror. If you do, this is a good one.

I suppose I’ll get rid of these magazines one day, but not in the near future. Even if they are old, I’m going to read them over and over again and wish they were still published.

Twelve-year-old Rachel is all about soccer. She can’t believe she’s made it on the team, in a offensive position. Everything is going great especially after her spectacular assist on a goal. Then she’s told she need to wear a brace for her scoliosis. She’ll be encased in a full torso plastic shell for twenty-three hours a day. Twenty-three hours. From under her arms to the top of her thighs.

How is she going to play soccer in this? No way does she want to quit. Can she cheat a bit? Not with her mother around who keeps telling her she’s lucky. It could be spinal fusion like she has. That’s only two of the challenges that Rachel faces as she struggles to keep going, through the pain, the blisters, and the beginnings of romance.

The characters in the book are well though of and come alive. Rachel and her friends are quite believable as they deal with Rachel’s dilemma. There were supporters. There were the snarky bullies. It was a positive book.

Alyson Gerber wore a brace in her youth leading credence to her debut novel. She made one feel the pain and struggles for someone who has to endure it. It’s surprising how many do. Even my mother had to wear a brace. She also had to hang upside down with weights. This was during World War II when things were hard to get. She was lucky because one of the doctors was a border in her parent’s house.

I liked that she included her struggle in the author’s notes in the back as well as some web sites.

Mosquitoes

After a bit on the news about mosquitoes, an ad came on for Advantage for dogs. It got me wondering. If they make something for pets so they don’t get bitten by mosquitoes and ticks, why can’t they do that for people? The talk about an explosion of tick numbers this year has got me anxious about walking in the wild. No  way do I want to lyme disease and there’s an even worse thing you can get from ticks. I don’t want to be scared from going out hiking.

Mosquitoes are bad too. About a year ago, I went to a county park. They  have a walkway in the trees and it’s really cool. Afterwards I walked along the river. I’d put bug spray on, but, by the time I was half-way through, I was nearly running to get away from the mosquitoes. Forget about taking a picture, which I did. The moment I stopped I had almost a visible wall of mosquitoes around me.

Aiken State Park, which is a really neat place, was bad as well. The Edisto River runs through it. It’s the longest black-water river in the U.S. The ‘black’ refers to the color leeched into by the cypress trees. My face got all bitten. Guess I forgot that spot.

Anyway, wouldn’t it be nice if there was an Advantage for people? We could all flock outside again and frolic in the wild, roll in the meadows, and visit the swampiest place on Earth with no fear.

People keep telling me sprains take a long time to heal. It’s been over a month now and I want it back to normal. Nope, got to wait a bit longer. Two months or more depending on the severity. I’ve got to clomp around in a cloth brace. That’s better than a moon-boot I suppose, but in summer SC, any added bit of clothing article is too much. Even on your foot. Every day I think, okay, tomorrow I can ditch the thing and then my ankle hurts a bit so it’s on for another day.

I’ve taken to wearing one of my shoes and one of my Dad’s. He wasn’t a large man so his shoe fits me and the brace almost perfectly. I’m sure I get some weird looks, but who cares? It works. I can walk. Now if only I can do my daily walking exercises. I miss  them. And I don’t miss them. The time I used for walking is now re-appropriated to drawing lessons from a book and to my writing. What’s not bad about that? I’ve been able to write more. I’ve finished a story and written two (very) short stories and am working on a Christmas one. I’ve not written a new one in the while and I’m excited about this one.

Back to the ankle. According to the x-ray, a ligament tore a bit of bone off and that’s causing some of the trouble. It’s better than having the ligament torn and needing surgery. I’ll have to take what I can get. As long as it gets better soon so I can continue my photo trips. Since I’m walking better, with no limping and no pain, that should be soon.