Monday, December 30, 2013

The last plog of the year

The last plog of the year   

So this will be the last plog for a while on Plogging Plus. Last January I decided when I was thinking of making a New Year's resolution that I would try to make a blog each day mainly to just see if I could do it.

The blog I decided would be about all sorts of things to make it easier to keep it interesting not only for anyone who might want to read it but also for me, so that I would keep doing it.

It did get a bit tedious at times but once I got into a pattern it became easier and I was actually quite disappointed when I traveled that I couldn't get my new tablet to publish my daily blog and so it didn't get written There was also a few days when I just didn't feel up to it as I felt poorly but I did write 331 blogs so I certainly think I fulfilled my resolution.

It also is a good way of reminding myself about 2013, the things I did , the photos I took, the things that I was interested in, the paintings I made, the flowers I grew. It became almost like my diary.

Thank you if you took time to read some of my blogs and comment on them. I know the blog doesn't make that easy. It certainly helped to keep me going to know that someone out there was reading them.

I haven't figured out yet what my 2014 resolution will be but I'll be sure to let you know so I can share it with you.


Trapeze by Simon Mawer

Trapeze by Simon Mawer

Yet another book I have read at some point during the blogging time when I was really into the Christmas and Thanksgiving season.
It was a while back I read it but when I checked my note on it, I remember it well.It was a “good read”
It is the story of a young English girl Marion who has been brought up in Paris. When World War 2. erupts she is 19 year old and volunteers to help in the war effort. As she has a good command of French and French customs she is trained to become a liaison in the SOE , Special Operations Executive to the French resistance movement. It details her training and her parachute jumps into France and her subsequent experiences.

It is a very interesting book and is based on the actual SOE and the courageous volunteers who served in it.

PS I have a sneeky feeling I have written a blog about this book already but never mind.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

After Eli by Terry Kay

After Eli by Terry Kay

This is another book I have been reading throughout the Christmas period. I was reading this on my ASUS tablet as a loan from the North Texas Library Group. It's an interesting way of reading and it makes you read a little each day as you know you have the book for a very limited time. ( 2 weeks) and then it will disappear.
This was just as well as it took some time to get into the story but when you did , you were hooked.
It is a suspense , mystery and murder, fictional novel set in the Appalachian mountains. Into the area comes Michael O'Rear, an Irish man of charm and guile who weaves his way into the life of the community with painful results. He let's the community think he is the cousin of a past farmer Eli and is determined to learn the truth of the mystery of Eli's hidden money. He also plans to take advantage of Eli's wife and daughter and sister in law while doing so.
Michael is not a nice man but a very clever one.

It is an interesting book to read and I'm glad I managed to finish it in time.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

After a great many blogs about Christmas I am ready for a change. Here is a book I read recently which was excellent.

If you like 20th century historical novels this is one of the best from a very good author,Ken Follett .It is the 2nd book in a trilogy of sweeping stories about 4 intertwined families from 1900 – 2000. The families are from England, USA, Germany and Russia( Soviet Union).

The first book Fall of Giants covered the period of the first World War , the political changes in all the countries and the rise of the suffragette movement.
Winter of the World covers the rise to power of Hitler and the 2nd World War . Sounds rather dull you say? It definitely is not. It is a gripping book to read with lots of suspense. Within this background of countries , politics and movements we have great characters and personalities who flow throughout the book bringing that time back to life.

It is an easy book to read but a very long story to read with over 900 pages so give yourself plenty of time to read it.

I finally begin to  understand the world in which my parents lived and although the politics of war are complicated, this book will give you a better understanding of the feelings and opinions of the people from all the countries involved.

I know I will be looking forward to reading the third book when it is issued.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Flowers

Christmas Flowers

One of the lovely gifts I had for Christmas was a huge poinsettia plant or I should say plants ,because I think there are actually 3 separate plants in the pot. There are 2 red ones and one white one and as far as I know you don't get these plants with different colors on a single plant. It is about 2feet tall so it is indeed a large plant. I do hope I have more success than I have had in past at keeping poinsettias alive. I know some people manage to keep their plants going from year to year but mine usually don't make it much beyond January. I will have to check out the gardening books and do a better job.
Not many blossoms this year

The other plant that I have had success with in the past is a Christmas cactus. This plant was doing exceptionally well up to last Christmas with lots of blooms just at the right time. Over the summer it gradually started to lose stalks and leaves. I couldn't figure out if it was getting too hot or too wet or if it had caught a bug of some kind. So this year it is not so robust as it was in previous years. I am just hoping it regains it's zest for living and comes back to full growth next year.

It is such a beautiful plant.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's coming tonight

Santa's coming tonight

Christmas Eve; a magical night.

Can you remember how excited you got when you were little?
We would go to bed with a pillowcase at the end of the bed -no small stocking for us-and hope that the mysterious old man with the white beard who we had seen around town would somehow actually find his way to our house, climb down a chimney ( which was never used and boarded up) and he certainly couldn't climb down the one in the living room as that had a big fire in it??

He would bring us such lovely toys that we had dreamed of for a long while. No one would have to make us go to bed on Christmas Eve. We wanted to go so the mysterious visitor would come quickly.

Didn't you try to keep awake to see if you could actually catch sight of him and even one time thought you saw him but he sounded rather like your dad and wasn't that you mum giggling and making shushing sounds ? Or did you just dream it?

Whatever it was, when you woke up there was the pillowcase stuffed with all kinds of mysterious packages and Father Christmas Had Come just like everyone said he would.

You'd pull out the toys and packages and even strange things like a piece of coal??? and even an orange and a few nuts and you knew the magic of Christmas had started.

But what of that old man who did the deliveries?

I like to think this card shows how he felt when he got home after doing all his deliveries- tired,content and glad that Christmas was finally here and delivered.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Very Merry Christmas You'all!

A Very Merry Christmas You'all!

Ask me to choose a favorite Christmas Card and I would find it most difficult. I have shown you many of the cars I have collected throughout the years. Without exception, they all have a thought , painting , photo , design which carries with it the greetings of the season and above all the feeling of the season that Christmas evokes.
This one above is a very special card. One of my favorites.
We have some very good Texan friends and each year they send us a card that nearly always has a Texan theme. This one is a wonderful example. It is a great painting and I certainly could never throw this one away.

Merry Christmas You'all!