Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Still Alice" ~ On the Bookshelf

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about LEFT neglected,  a book by Lisa Genova. I knew early on that I would read anything this author wrote. It was only her second book, so I do hope she puts pen to paper again, SOON!!

Her first book is entitled Still Alice and it is every bit as well written and interesting as LEFT neglected. Definitely a page turner! It's about a woman who finds out that she has early-onset Alzheimer's -- she is only 50 -- and is a psychology professor at Harvard. Alzheimer's is a harsh disease usually affecting the elderly so to read this from the point of view of a younger person was really an eye-opener.

I really found myself paying attention and taking the memory tests put forth by Alice's neurologist (and passed them all) because, just like we all do as we age, I occasionally forget names (usually singers and actors, not friends and acquaintances) and have to run down the alphabet until suddenly the right name pops into mind! I don't know why I forget singers and actors -- just not so important I guess. Or I go into another room to get something and then can't remember why I went there. So I have to retrace my steps, and then the thing I was going to get pops into mind! Anyhow, I did the tests and repeated the memory phrases with flying colors. Thank the good Lord.

John Black, 42 West Street, Brighton. There!! I still remember it!!

Alice has her own set of questions which she keeps in her Blackberry and looks at every day. What month is it? Where do you live? Where is your office? When is Anna's birthday? How many children do you have? And as the book, and her disease, progresses, the answers get more and more vague.

Ms. Genova does her homework and is very factual in the medical end of things. The book has even been endorsed by the National Alzheimer's Association. She has done an excellent job of writing with compassion and a bit of humor.

If you belong to a book club, this would be an excellent one to read. Included is a Reader's Club Guide with sample questions and "A Conversation with Lesa Genova" where she details why she wrote the book.

I'll definitely be watching out for a new book from Ms. Genova!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have You Hit the Courts Today? ~ Wednesday Wanderings and the Shops Found Along the Way

Tennis Courts, that is!!

Today is "Play Tennis Day" -- who would have thought it!! I, myself, don't play tennis -- I took a couple of semi-lessons way back when but never really caught on to it. I remember having some cool tennis shoes though -- white leather with green accents.  Seems that my racquet had green on it somewhere. Oh I was quite the fashion plate!

Sooo, let's go find us some tennis on Etsy!!

There's nothing better to a dog than a ball he can chase! and catch. and bring back to you all soggy and yuck. so you'll throw it again real quick since it's all soggy and yuck. This cutie pup looks like he's just tail-wagging, backside-wiggling ready for you to throw that ball again!! English Springer Spaniel Tennis Ball Print by Wild Wild Things.

And the score is  Love - Love! Wedding cake topper for the tennis couple. Hmmm, do you think she's about to smack him with her racquet because he dared to sneak a peek at her bridesmaids? Nooo, not on their wedding day! She's just declaring that she's the way better player! Love Love Tennis Bride and Groom by Becky Kazana.

How cute is this?!! Make your own tennis stationery and then stamp the envelope when you're finished! I simply cannot imagine carving my own stamps -- of course, I've never tried but I still can't imagine it. I'd goof up somewhere for sure! This seller makes all manner of stamps -- really fantastic stuff! Tennis Racquet  and Balls Stamp Set by Brown Pigeon.

After the game is over, toast the winner with these cute wine glasses! I love the neon green tennis ball on the bottom! Too clever... Tennis, Tennis, Tennis Wine Glasses by Jennifer 347. Lots of cute painted glass items in Jennifer's shop!

Cute tennis cookies to eat with that wine! Yum! These are definitely the sweetest cookies, ever!!  ;-)  Have a peek at her shop -- you won't believe the cookies! There's even Saints, Cowboys and LSU cookies!  How cool is that? Well, cool to me anyway. Tennis Gift Cookies by Ruthie's Cookies.

Well, that was fun! Anybody ready to take up tennis? Ummm, probably not me. I think I got rid of the racquet and the shoes are long gone....

Friday, February 11, 2011

"LEFT neglected" - An Excellent Book ~ On the Bookshelf

I'm reading a new book by Lisa Genova entitled  LEFT neglected.  It is excellent!!

From the title, even the way it is written, I assumed that the "star" of the book has perhaps left her 9 month old son in the car and something happens, or that she has left her family neglected in some awful way. (Yes, I read the flyleaf but was on the run at the library so didn't closely read it...)

Anyway, she has this terrible accident, leaving her with a brain injury and THAT is the "left neglected" part. She has no knowledge of the left side of her body. She can't see anything to the left. She can't feel anything on the left. She can only read on the right side of a page so nothing makes sense. If someone is standing to her left, she can only hear them. She intellectually knows that she has a left arm and leg, but cannot see them.

Can you possibly imagine this? I took a placemat (hey, it was handy) and held it down the center of my face. Everything to the left disappeared! I just cannot conceive actually having this happen.

But, on a lighter note -- the way the book is written is hysterical! You really get inside Sarah's head (no, not MY head, heaven help you! Sarah is the left neglected lady).  She's this powerhouse of a woman, doing 20 things at once, has the great career, lots of people to manage, the home, the kids, the husband. And a mother she now has to deal with to help her in her new life -- a mother she doesn't want around.  There's a lot of laugh-out-loud stuff -- the author is an excellent writer.

She has written one other book, " Still Alice?" Oh, my what is that one about? I'll be running  back to the library to check it out as soon as I finish this one! Lisa Genova is definitely my new favorite author!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hearts to Your Love ~ Wednesday Wanderings and the Shops Found Along the Way

Valentine's Day is only a few days away -- have you gotten your valentine for your honey yet? This is the time of year that Hallmark sees the most men (this and Mom's Day too!!) -- I know, I used to work in a gift shop that also had Hallmark cards. It was a kick to see the guys all lined up in front of the cards! Some would spend a really long time picking out their card, while others would walk in, look for a moment, grab a card and that was it. And of course it was always fun to see what other goodies they bought for their sweethearts.

We would make balloon gift baskets which were always popular. They would contain a heart shaped box of chocolates, a stuffed Valentine plushie animal and some small goodies like candles, topped off with a balloon and lots of curly ribbon. Very fun to make, except when the helium tank went too fast and the balloon popped!

♥♥♥ So, in anticipation of that day of chocolates and flowers, I'm looking at shops with heart!! ♥♥♥

Who could resist this cute little hedgie? Hedgies are so adorable by themselves, but put them with a heart and the awww factor really kicks in!! And he's only 2" long from the tip of his nose to his cutie backside!! Mercibuckets also makes the sweetest little gnomes you've ever seen -- I know because I have one! I actually won it on her monthly Facebook page drawing (you should check it out -- maybe you'll win one too!) Hedgie Love by The Jaunty Gnome.

This heart is absolutely gorgeous! It is beautifully stitched with floss and embellished with a metallic thread and small beads. Spectacular. I hope she will add more cross-stitch to her shop (I love to cross-stitch and can really appreciate the time it takes to make something this lovely). The 3 Poinsettas Timeless Elegance by Craftastic Creations.

Uh-oh, Jellyfish Love!!! And they're holding, uh, hands...  OK, tenacles, but it doesn't sound as sweet. : )  This would be the coolest valentine for a couple with a beach house, or even just an aquarium! Too cute! Jellyfish Love You and Me by Tributary Handmade. (Go see the shop -- really nice embroideries!)

Choo choo! What a sweet valentine train -- a vintage postcard sent to Miss Elizabeth Jones -- you'll have to visit the shop to see what's written on the back! And notice the heart smoke coming out of the train's smokestack! I love these old cards... Train of Love Vintage Valentines Day Postcard by Paper Piggy.

And for your Valentine munchies.....I know you'd love to find these yummy cookies on your doorstep! I can just taste them now... mmmm! There are other Valentine cookie bouquets in this shop too -- you must go look!  Love is in the Air Valentine's Day Cookie Bouquet by Sweet'n Treats.


Thanks for heart shopping with me today -- hope you found something sweet for your honey!!



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