Bad summer for my poor Oriental Lilies.

This year my Lilies have been beset by the brilliantly red yet devastatingly hungry Scarlet Lily Beetle, or Lilioceris lilii.  My poor babies have all bloomed but in the ugliest way possible, with munched-on leaves and hole-y petals.  These are the best of them and next year I will use an organic concoction to keep the beetles out.  Sigh…

More LilliesFullSizeRender (33)

Book Review: “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Just finished reading this thrilling page-turner, or rather listening to it as an audiobook on my iPhone.  That ends up being kind of a cross between a movie and a book, but really it’s just my way of reading when I just don’t have time to sit and hold a book.  Between, cleaning, folding laundry and driving, I wouldn’t have read a single book for the last 15 years if it weren’t for Audible and iTunes!

The audiobook is performed by three talented women reading the three female lead characters, alternating as the story requires.  Rachel, Meghan and Anna turn out to have one big thing in common but we don’t find out what that is til late in the action. Rachel is a disillusioned drunk, Meghan a broken cypher, and Anna a selfish brat for much of the book.  The men in their lives are in various stages of personal decay as well, but they aren’t the focus of the story or the mystery we feel is behind Rachel’s evident problems with work, drinking and relationships.

Paula Hawkins, English first-time author, has structured the juicy plot in such a way as to give you just enough backstory in flashback to understand what’s happening in the present, or whet your appetite to figure that out.  The book has been compared to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but I think Train is better than Gone, if we’re comparing Girls.  I actually couldn’t get through Gone Girl and I couldn’t stop listening to this, often sitting in my driveway for a few extra minutes to hear more before going inside.  I’m also one of those idiots who sits transfixed by an English accent, so it was easy to keep listening on several levels!

Rachel is our real lead, and a very complex woman who has deteriorated to a great degree after the break-up of her marriage… brought about by Anna.  Her struggle with alcohol feels real and I had a great deal of compassion for her character.  Meghan is the woman that the Girl on the Train sees each morning as she rolls past on her way into London.  Having ridden a lot of trains past different neighborhoods in New York City, I can imagine exactly how it feels to Rachel to pass the same homes, apartments and windows each day and begin to wonder about who lives within.  I can’t say much about the story without giving away more than you’d want me to, so you’ll just have to read it yourself (or listen to all eleven hours of the audiobook) and write me a comment to say what you thought of it.  Enjoy!      A-

Seen the new Nike cross-trainer?

It’s like a sock/shoe or a shoe/sock.  A Shock.  Incredibly light and comfortable.  The whole shoe body is like a thick, stretchy sock.  The sole is super bendy and light.  The laces are for show – there’s no opening or tongue on this shoe.  Probably great for wide feet, perhaps less so for flat feet. Not a lot of arch support.  Pretty good-looking, in my estimation.  A bit pricey…


Knit KNike’s

Anyway, comes in a few brighter colors but I end up liking black sneaks best.  Available wherever you get your trainers.

Wedding in Bora Bora

My beloved uncle has had some good luck, some bad luck, some unwelcome challenges, some gains and good times, a horrid loss, and now a spectacular strike of great good fortune.  This past weekend, he married his long-time love in an extremely personal ceremony in Bora Bora.  I could not be happier for both of them, and tho I’m a little old to have a new Aunt, I welcome her with wide open arms.  She’s great and they have both gotten lucky in each other.  I wanted to congratulate them with this post but also absolutely had to share this magnificent photo taken at their wedding.  Makes you want to go to Bora Bora and get married!  Congratulations to both of you, and rest easy knowing you had several angels listening to your vows from their perches in the heavens.

The Wedding in Bora Bora

The Wedding in Bora Bora

I’m Back, Baby!!!

helen camera

Photographing my super-preemie nephew last year.

Haven’t been here in a while, but didn’t let it go entirely. I’ve been a little busy but I can’t neglect this baby of mine any longer. So I’ll post some photos from the last little while, a recipe or two, and a book review in short order.