So, then, dear Poppets, I see that it is our special time again to discuss a few books and Life, in general, and what you might like, in particular. This finds me at my old, dear desk in Memorial Library with the special sights, sounds, and "book odors" that I so miss when in Texas. Until you've been in a library that is, shall we say, not "properly run", you may not appreciate one that is--such as ours--and, believe an "old" library user--they're either one or the other--no middle ground.
What I do not--ever--miss, when not in Liberal--is the
30 to 40 m.p.h. wind. Gracious but this takes some getting acclimated
to, again, once one is no longer in it anymore. I am always so pleased
to come back to where I spent 57 years and not much has changed--except I
miss Bob's Diner and Dinah and if anyone knows where she is (I assume
Wichita where one of her daughters lives), could you please call the
library, ask for Jill or Pauline, and tell them and they'll get it to
me. Sometimes, one can "go back" to an actual place and see former
friends and sometimes, your early years were spent in another place and
environment, different people, different experiences and a prime example
of that, for me as for many people, are the years before marriage and
what one remembers so vividly--people, pets, schools, events, likes and
Close friends are well aware that I had strong British
undertones in my bringing up and that I absolutely adored my mother's
mother whom I called "Foof" and I was always called "My Lamb" or
"Foofner" in return, and I laughed and learned under her wise and funny
tutelage, and, in thinking about her and some of her "sayings" that I
grew up with i.e."Who do you think you are?" and "To whom do you think
you're speaking in that tone?" and "Remember who you are" and, again,
"Do your very best and angels can do no more." Both my mother, Foof's
daughter, and I used to tell each other that, in response to the first
Brit saying, we'd like to have had the courage to reply with our name
(standing straight and tall and, at the moment, slightly belligerent!)
but Mother and I both knew what would come next--"Then, act like her and
stop this behavior!"
Elizabeth, the Queen; The Life of a Modern Monarch", by Sally Bedell Smith, author of several autobiographies of
well-known names, and it tells all sorts of things about her--I listened
on my little radio, in high school, in Virginia, as she was crowned
Queen and, along with everyone else, read about her--apparently, she's
an excellent mimic of other people's traits, loves her two months on the
grounds of Balmoral, walking her Corgis and going out with hunting
parties and, if not shooting the birds, is directing the hunting dogs
where to go to pick up the game birds that very important people have
shot and certainly cannot be expected to go and "fetch" for themselves.
I mean to say, it just isn't done.
So, if the beaters (men with the
party, employed by the Queen--she has 80 servants all the time at
Balmoral Castle for her two months stay there--) anyway, if they're busy
loading the guests' guns or whatever and unavailable when the bird or
deer goes down, the Queen takes over and sees that the game is brought
to them. I love it. There's Her Majesty, in rough gear, boots, scarf on
her head, lined leather gloves, game warden's whistle over her neck,
making the proper motions to the dogs, calling their names, and then
using hand gestures to convey what they were to do. And whaddya bet the
dogs knew what she meant?
Cold, rainy, trampling over old logs, leaves,
the crashing of gun barrels, your sandwich and flask of whiskey in the
leather bag over your shoulder (what? you thought they went to MickeyD's
for a hamburger? we're talking deep forest for 130 miles all around
here--and, for Heaven's sake, don't even think of complaining--that's
one big, main thing you learn when being brought up in Brit
tradition--no one cares to hear it so, fix it yourself, or "go somewhere
and get ahold of yourself and come out when you can be pleasant!"
Anyway, life, for her, is not always wearing a diamond
tiara, she became Queen at a very young age and had to balance those
duties in both Motherhood and State areas, her sister wasn't allowed to
marry the divorced Royal Air Force pilot she adored--Prince Phillip saw
to that and he should object? On what grounds? Other than he was a
divorced man whom Princess Margaret loved--it couldn't have been on
moral grounds, alone, since Phillip had an affair for 23 years and
everyone knew it--and the lady involved (a Royal, of course!) Sorry to
take up this much space on one topic but let me finish on one note; "An
undercurrent to the speculation about Charles as the next king is that
he is destined to be a transitional figure with a short reign before the
succession of his more popular son, Prince William, and Kate.
William that monarchists count on to keep the dynasty strong in the new
millennium; the Palace is full aware that the monarchy's future depends
not only on reaching young people by emphasizing its own next
generation." William and Kate are very popular, they dress in khakis and
sneakers to visit children's hospitals, he went to New Zealand to give
comfort and a personal solace to victims of natural disasters, much as
his beloved mother, Diana, had done and the paper there wrote--"He came,
he saw, he charmed their bloody socks off!" William and his brother,
Harry, are easing into "royalty", still being called "Prince" but not
"Sir" and they won't hear of "Your Royal Highness." We'll see what the
future holds but do get this book and you will enjoy all of its 560
pages--it's compulsively readable.
Show Dog: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred", by Josh Dean, wrote about spending a year
"alongside Jack, is champion Australian shepherd--and his canine and
human friends--and presents a revealing look at our love affair with the
world's most doted-upon and tinkered with animal species." We certainly
get to know this lovable dog and the people around him --his owner,
handler, and his breeder--and we're given an up-close look at the dog
show world, its traditions, its rules, along with the many people who
inhabit it, taking part in judging, training, naming, promoting,
hair-styling, RV-driving, hotel finding, and everything related to
owning and showing a champion dog. There are over two thousand dog shows
available every weekend, here in the U.S.
Breeding a champion dog--or
horse--or cat sounds simple in that "you want to reinforce the good
traits of specific animals while eliminating flaws and responsible owners
of a certain breed work in concert to eliminate problematic traits--in
Aussies, for example, the eye condition PRA." On several personal
notes, Jack jumped up on the judge as he walked by to put a 3rd place
win behind Jack's name. Jack's chief rival for all of the judge's
eyes was the beautiful moving Beyonce. She floated around the ring and
went so fast you almost couldn't see her legs moving, and when Kimberly,
who owned Jack, felt the time was right for him to become a father--that
was a fine idea that drove Kimberly and Jack around the bend.
Westminster dog show is the pinnacle--lots of media coverage--two days of
TV--obviously beautiful dogs--famous people milling around the prestige
of the event. This book is truly, honestly a great picture of a great
dog, Jack, his mistress and handler, his mistakes, his heart, his
triumphs, so go check it out and let me know what you think.
Kris Jenner, "Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian." You gotta give the
girls credit, though, they're all very attractive--and ambitious--and
not necessarily role models. She was married, at one time, to the
Olympic champion, Bruce Jenner, then Robert Kardashin "and how it was
Bruce who finally helped end the Kardashian's messy divorce so they
could all move forward as a family."
It was Kris' brainstorm to make the
family into an empire--an "international brand", actually--and has made
it into a TV franchise that many millions of women watch and envy. In
this book, Kris also gives details/stories of her "intimate connection"
with O.J.Simpson and Nicole Brown, the trial of O.J. and its aftermath.
She and Robert had to deal with the important fact that they had each
believed something different--Robert sat with O.J, at the trial, and
honestly believed him innocent while Kris did not and kept remembering
Nicole's words to her--"he's going to kill me and he's going to get away
with it"--and so it came to pass. O.J. later failed a lie detector test
--too late for his trial. A really, interesting, pretty intelligent
story and I very much enjoyed hearing Kris' voice in it all. I came out
with a different point of view of the family--not completely, just
somewhat--and certainly was admiring of what and how Kris handled all
So, my dears, "the time has come, the walrus said, to
speak of other things--"and there's always the weather, which, on the
day I'm writing this, is cold and windy (so, you expected anything else
the end of Feb.?)and, again, to say how great it has been to be back at
my first "home", see dear friends, relax at Spencer Browne's over tea
and a Hawaiian muffin (heated, of course), laugh at my son and
daughter-in-law's dog and cat, and just "kick back". I wish all of my
readers a good Spring ahead, keep walking, smile at strangers, and try
to not get too upset--"it won't matter on the back of a galloping horse"
(another one of Foof's wonderful sayings!) Think of me in Kerrville, Tx.
and if you're "in the neighborhood", call and stop by! Take care,
Poppets, and good luck!