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The Padded Cell: Bookmarque Reads without Rules (Part 3)

The Green Dragon

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Jul 8, 8:43am Top

Here we go with part 3.

And June is behind us, too. It’s all going by too fast as usual. I’ve been obsessing about learning to solder jewelry, and I’ve been re-reading parts of three books I have and watching a ton of videos so my reading is a little low, but here it is -

9 books read
All fiction again (this will change in July)
4 new writers, 5 familiar
3 men, 6 women
3 audio, 3 ebooks and 3 physical (neat huh?)


Only one borrowed from the library
Of the 8 I bought 5 were new and 3 were free (LT ER and Amazon freebie)

Most cataloged on LT is Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore with 1415
The least cataloged is The Wolf Wants In by Laura McHugh with 39
Everything was from the current century with the oldest from 2012

Everything was ok, but nothing was totally great or awful so I’ll skip the best/worst bit.

Jul 9, 11:17am Top

Happy new thread! Good luck with the soldering; I've been going out with a silversmith recently so I get to hear all about that!

Jul 9, 11:23am Top

Oh cool Sakerfalcon. Here's my beginning kit (just the new stuff I needed, already had torches, hammers and other tools) -

Jul 9, 2:23pm Top

Good luck with Part 3.

Jul 10, 9:46am Top

Thanks Pete.

I'm STILL working through my Portugal pictures. Only a few hundred left to go. With everything else going on it's taking longer than usual.

This is the village of Pinhao on the Douro river. We stayed here three nights and sailed up the river on a traditional rabelo boat like the one in this next shot -

The album is here >>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/thewiresmith/albums/72157708954176683

Jul 10, 11:00am Top

>5 Bookmarque: The pictures in your album are amazing. I have never seen Portugal as green as it is in many of your photographs.

I like some of the textures you and patterns you have captured: the terraces; arch within arch within arch...; brightly painted windows in a plain wall; etc...

Is the spiral stairway a descent to a well?

Jul 10, 10:22pm Top

It is an initiation well, not a water sourcing contraption. The person who improved and enlarged the estate was really into the occult and the Masons and it was supposedly used in initiation rituals for that organization. Complete with tarot cards and other claptrap. Fascinating constructions though. And dizzying to ascend and descend. One of the wells is completed and the other just roughed (color photo). Very dark down there. Underground passageways link them.

Jul 10, 10:58pm Top

Wow, Portugal is beautiful!

Jul 11, 2:42am Top

>7 Bookmarque: Thank you for the explanation.

Jul 11, 4:57am Top

Wow, those photos are stunning. I too love the well, and also all those stairways leading between mossy walls. I really need to make a return visit to Portugal and see these places for myself.

Jul 11, 6:32am Top

The question that asks itself after all those gorgeous pictures is, of course, How did you like the food and the wine?

Jul 11, 7:48am Top

What Hugh and Claire said (including the bits about the pictures). I didn't get much opportunity to try the food or wine during my brief visit.

Edited: Jul 13, 9:29am Top

Great photos, you are very good at capturing the "soul" of a place.

I started to follow you on Flickr, too ;-)

Edited: Jul 13, 10:09am Top

Thanks so much, Busifer. I have hardly taken so many pictures on vacation before. It was a fun trip and there are many more shots to come. I'm so behind with processing!

The food was pretty fantastic on the trip. Lots of fish which isn't something I'm a fan of, but everywhere we went gracious substitutions were made for me and a couple of other folks. This was something our travel agent arranged in advance so no doubt that was part of why it was so seamless. I've just put some food pics in the flickr stream since they were all taken with my phone that's the easiest way to show them.

The best dinner was at D.O.C. in Fonte Do Quintal, Viseu which is about a 20 minute ride from Pinhao. It was windy and cold so we ate inside and the service and the food was phenomenal. So much so that when Ken and I spotted (by complete chance) a sister restaurant (same owner/chef) in Porto, we had lunch there on the strength of the dinner we already had. It was also amazing. A few of those food pics are already live on flickr.

The wine is harder to characterize as a whole since it varies so much from region to region. Colares wine for example is kind of astringent and minerally due to the way they have to farm it and its proximity to the ocean. I did find an alvarino that I loved, but alas couldn't find it in the local wine shops I tried. We brought a case of wine home from different places. Three bottles of port, too - 2016 vintage Graham and an older vintage port from Quinta do Vesuvio.

Edited: Jul 13, 10:21am Top

Here are a couple of my favorite Douro valley views -

It's a world heritage site and has been in continual wine production since the Roman Empire.

Jul 19, 12:12pm Top

So today is my Thingaversary! 13 years. Holy crap. No time to buy books or anything as I'm going away for the weekend to do some kayaking in the western part of the state. Car is almost packed and ready to go. I might listen to an audio book on the trip and I can't think of a nicer way to spend the day...well, not the car trip but the kayaking tomorrow.

Jul 19, 12:29pm Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy kayaking-day.

Just remember the algorithm for calculating the number of books to be acquired, especially the bit where you raise the number of books to the number of days after your Thingaversary that you complete the required acquisitions.

Edited: Jul 19, 2:28pm Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy 13th Thingaversary! Enjoy your trip. It's sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate.

>17 pgmcc: You're truly evil. (But I kind of like that about you.)

Jul 19, 3:01pm Top

>18 clamairy: Shucks! You say the nicest things.

Jul 20, 8:24am Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy Thingaversary!

Jul 20, 8:45am Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy Thingaversary! I hope you get some amazing photos while kayaking :)

Jul 20, 8:46am Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy Thingaversary and happy kayaking! Good luck remembering that algorithm though. Peter's version includes some numbers that even the financial magicians haven't invented yet.

Jul 20, 11:08am Top

Adding my Happy Thingaversary here, and a reminder, cheese and wine go far in mitigating any possible punishments of not having a book in your hands on your Thingaversary.

Jul 23, 10:30pm Top

Back from my weekend. It was pretty great even though a really big storm came through and cut the power in the town. Lots of destruction on the way home. The power here was only restored yesterday afternoon. So glad we have our big generator.

I went to Crex Meadows which is a 30,000 acre restored ecosystem in northwest Wisconsin and it's a jewel. It's all man made because the original landscape was ravaged by industry. Even so it's beautiful and serene.

More to come.

Jul 24, 8:43am Top

>24 Bookmarque: That looks incredibly beautiful, considering what it once was. How's the wildlife? Plants can grow even if the ground is still not entirely cleansed, but healthy thriving fauna need the area a little more pristine. I await more photos!

Jul 24, 9:46am Top

>24 Bookmarque: That looks restful.

Jul 24, 11:58am Top

>24 Bookmarque: It looks super.

Jul 24, 2:26pm Top

Thanks peeps! It was a great experience. When I say manmade, I mostly mean the re-created water features which are all flowages controlled by pumps and dikes. They have also cut tons of trees in an effort to restore a pine barren habitat as well as prairie. It replaces what was basically destroyed in the early 1900s by some kind of mill or textile industry that needed wiregrass. They tore all of it out and polluted as well. It was part of a larger Wisconsin Pine Barrens it now encompasses more land, I'm pretty sure. And the wildlife is doing just fine. I saw tons of birds (even the rare black tern) and this is from the website -

"Because of this habitat, Crex is home to over 280 species of birds, 720 species of plants, over 96 species of butterfly and a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Interestingly, every species of mammal found in Wisconsin has been on the Crex property at some point; we occasionally even get a moose or mountain lion wandering through."

I've only seen one moose and one lion while here, but the moose is far more rare.

More pics to come.

Jul 25, 7:01am Top

Belated happy Thingaversary! Crex sounds like a fabulous place. It's good when we humans take care to restore the environments that we've ravaged.

Jul 25, 9:42am Top

Thanks Busifer. Wisconsin does a pretty good job cleaning up after itself and looking after its natural resources. Especially up here in the north.

Have updated my Portugal photo album with more food pics and other stuff including a private chapel and some cool abandoned stuff.


Edited: Aug 5, 3:18pm Top

Looked for a library book sale yesterday since I hadn't been to one in a long time. It was this morning! Here's what I came home with for an even $20

I've started cataloging movies on LT because I had no way to check if we already had one. It isn't perfect but it keeps me from duplicating.

Aug 2, 2:34pm Top

Enjoy your books...and movies.

Aug 2, 5:59pm Top

I know you all will understand- the fun starts with the cataloging!

We are a couple hours west in WI for the weekend. He is taking a pistol class and I will visit nature preserves and look for abandoned stuff.

Aug 3, 12:14pm Top

>31 Bookmarque: Great haul! I've been cataloging my movies here as well. Very helpful when I loan one out. :)

Aug 3, 2:21pm Top

>33 Bookmarque:, >34 MrsLee: Me three. I started cataloguing what I watch here when I realised that I was losing track of what I have already seen. (I don't watch TV/film very often.)

Aug 5, 10:16am Top

I lose track, too, -p-. That's why I love the LT app on the phone. Keeps me from *doh!* moments.

Wandered around the countryside this weekend, mostly because hiking was impossible on two fronts. First my achilles tendon in the bad leg was too painful. It is at the end of most days now, but I gave it a go. Second was the mosquitoes. I thought they would have been reduced by now, but it's like June. Crazy even doused in deet. I gave up and mostly explored by car. This is basically what there was to see -

So much farmland that it's at once inspiring and depressing. We're good at what we do. Sometimes too good. But overall it was a pleasant weekend. And of course I couldn't help following the signs to another library book sale. Only bought two though -

to replace a paperback.


to read while waiting in the car for my husband to finish his classes. Good thing too since they ran overtime both days. 🙄

Aug 5, 11:28am Top

The colours and clouds in your picture are beautiful.

Aug 5, 12:05pm Top

thanks Pete. My husband has been to Ireland (not me) and he says it's as green in Sconnie as it is there. What do you think?

Aug 5, 1:31pm Top

>38 Bookmarque: It certainly is. Do you have it that green for twelve months of the year?

Aug 5, 1:41pm Top

ha. you know we don't. We get brown and white, too. All the seasons! Winter, deep winter, light winter and mud.

Aug 5, 2:00pm Top

>40 Bookmarque: In that case I may have to qualify my answer. :-)

Aug 5, 2:20pm Top

It's raining now so more green will be forthcoming.

Aug 5, 3:01pm Top

The summer is slipping away. Here’s how July’s reading went -
9 books read
7 fiction, 2 non-fiction
5 old familiars, 4 new authors
7 by women, 2 by men
7 books I bought, 2 from the library
6 were new, 1 was a freebie (ER)
5 audio books, 1 ebook and 3 physical


The oldest was from 2009, the newest from this year.
The best was The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan and there was no worst...they were all pretty evenly matched.
The most cataloged on LT is White Trash by Nancy Isenberg - 1126
The least cataloged is The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan - 25

Aug 6, 6:11am Top

>31 Bookmarque: Nice haul! Wishing you happy cataloguing, reading and viewing!

Aug 14, 10:55am Top

I can’t remember if I was posting about this here or on the health thread, so I’ll just put it here.

My lymphatic bypass surgery went well. It was yesterday and I'm home now. I was on the table for 8 hours and during that time my amazing surgeon found 5 sites to bypass. He said the key to the surgery would be patience - and he had it. Stamina, too. It’s all done with a very expensive microscope (40x) and he had it booked for the day so he could really devote the time needed. I’m so grateful.

There’s very little pain and I can walk on my leg just fine. It has to stay wrapped for a while and I shouldn’t do much more than sit with my feet up. Because I was under for so long it’s taking some time to get all the anesthesia out of me...still feel a little spacy, but that will pass (will anyone really notice? lol). I also had my arms extended for the whole procedure and that put enough strain on the nerve(s) that my fingers and thumbs are numb, mostly it’s the right hand and so it’s really strange to know I’m touching things, but I can’t feel that I am. I hope this passes quick too since it’s pretty icky.

I’m not sure how long it will be before I can see that my leg is smaller or my foot, but I assume it will be gradual. At least the lymph fluid has somewhere to go now. Since we’re far enough away from the Mayo to make going there a pain, the Doc is going to have me take pictures and send them to the patient portal. He gave my husband a little kit for removing the stitches which will be in about 3 weeks. Until then just rest and wrap the leg.

And read.


Aug 14, 11:28am Top

>45 Bookmarque: What a penance! Especially the reading ;-)

Aug 14, 11:43am Top

>45 Bookmarque: That is excellent news.

Aug 14, 1:50pm Top

>45 Bookmarque:
I am delighted it went well. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Aug 14, 8:20pm Top

>45 Bookmarque: Sounds like that went very well. Great news :)

Aug 14, 9:54pm Top

So happy it went well. Enjoy your downtime!

Aug 14, 10:23pm Top

Seconding what everyone else said, in particular >46 hfglen: and >48 pgmcc: . Enjoy your reading and recovery.

Aug 15, 3:58am Top

>45 Bookmarque: I'm really glad that all went well. I hope you recover smoothly and enjoy the reading time.

Aug 15, 8:31am Top

Incidentally, the dinnerware in >30 Bookmarque: is almost as beautiful as the dessert. I assume that it's port in the glass.

Aug 15, 8:57am Top

Thanks everyone. I'm going to be bandaged like a mummy for a while, but at least today I can have a shower.

Yup, it was port in the glass. Made on the estate - Quinta Nova.

Finished Ape House by Sara Gruen yesterday. Ok, but a bit screwball comedy in parts which I wasn't expecting. Have started The Words Between Us by Erin Bartles - it's my Early Review book from last month.

Aug 15, 9:58am Top

Very glad to hear that the surgery went well. Bless that doctor for caring enough to do a thorough job! May you heal just a quickly as you want to, and may you find many great reads while you are healing.

Aug 15, 12:00pm Top

So glad the surgery went well. I hope the healing goes just as well. Enjoy the down time!

Aug 15, 12:56pm Top

Yay for modern medicine!

Aug 15, 3:50pm Top

>45 Bookmarque: I had no idea, and am glad to hear all went well! I wish you the speediest of recoveries.

Aug 15, 4:00pm Top

Thanks peeps. I unwrapped my leg and the stitches are nasty looking but perfectly normal. I even think my calf and ankle are smaller, but I’m not sure. Other than an all over ache, I’m in no pain. So far, so good. I’m reading on the deck and the local hummingbird mom buzzes in the flowers. Hubby is here for the next five days or so and can do some errands for me before he leaves for NH. Maybe by then my foot will fit in a shoe.

Aug 16, 9:58am Top

>59 Bookmarque: It is heartening to read of someone having a good experience with a doctor.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery - and enjoyable reading in the meantime.

Aug 16, 11:25am Top

Thanks -p-, I wish yours has been as good. I've said my experience at Mayo in April was very good and it continued. Dr. Tran was dedicated to a positive outcome and he persisted in that for many hours in the OR. As did his team. I will be forever grateful.

Finished my ER book yesterday. It was a good story with a happy ending. Pleasant reading. Review when Matilda vacates my lap. Hard to type with kitty.

Aug 18, 10:47am Top

I’m so happy to report a big reduction in the size of my leg! It’s quite noticeable even with my leg wrapped in bandaging; without it’s dramatic. Especially my calf and ankle. Over time I am confident it will return to normal or near normal size. Still not sure if I will need compression to maintain, but I won’t mind so much if it’s effective.

So far my foot isn’t changed. From the highest point of my instep to my toes is still the same with the line of demarcation being pronounced. My feeling is that Dr. Tran couldn’t find any lymphatic tissue that could be used in that area. I hope that with compression the fluid can be pushed higher into my ankle and calf and drain from there. But it’s still too early to tell and I haven’t been given the go ahead to try so I’ll just wait.

I’m still a little shaky from the anesthesia, but it’s not bad. My fingertips are still a little tingly, too, but they’re almost back to normal.

Next week I’ll attempt a shoe and a trip to the farmer’s market. Seeing where the incision on my foot is I think a sandal will work - straps won’t touch it.

Getting a lot of reading done and I like that part. The extended sitting is driving me a little crazy and making my butt sore, lol. But if it’s the price to pay for a successful surgery, I’ll pay. Yesterday I did some light housework and made a potato salad and it was ok. I just can’t walk or stand too much. Elevate the leg is what I’m told so I’ll do it.

ER book review here = https://www.librarything.com/work/23332504/reviews/172097935

Have finished a couple more books since. If you like historical fiction, Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier was excellent. I loved it. It's set just after Queen Victoria died and centers on two families in London from two different social spheres and the friendship between the daughters from each. It's funny and tragic and made my head spin with how many women were against any kind of equal rights during the Edwardian period. Hell, it boggles my mind that women NOW are. Review coming soon.

Anyway...that’s my update! I’m practically in tears with happiness. I was so worried that the surgery wouldn’t work.

Aug 18, 11:04am Top

>62 Bookmarque: Fantastic!

Aug 18, 11:33am Top

>62 Bookmarque: Fantasticmarvellouswonderfultremendous!

Aug 18, 12:41pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Wonderful to hear!

Aug 18, 12:46pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Excellent news!

Edited: Aug 18, 5:12pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Excellent news. Don't cheat on the leg elevation; in my experience it really does make a difference.

Edited: Aug 18, 4:05pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Yay! Hope all continues to go well.

I own that Chevalier, and I think it's been on Mount Tooby for eons.

PS I am loving the new LT scroll over pop-up for book touchstones!

Edited: Aug 18, 4:10pm Top

Thanks everyone. I nearly collapsed with relief when I took all the bandaging off today and saw how small my leg is. Incredible. If this had happened 10 years ago I'd have had no options.

I love them, too, clam, but I think we're in the minority. The usual vocal and negative are dogpiling. But I just did a hover over a title on Amazon and was bummed when there was no pop up. Oh how used to things we become!! Move it to the top of the pile when you're in the mood for historical fiction. The review is up and it's a tad spoilery. I'll go hide some stuff.

No cheating -p-, I promise. Even if my ass turns to lead.

Aug 18, 6:11pm Top

>68 clamairy: & >69 Bookmarque:

Oh! I didn't know about the pop-up, great! Better run over to LT talk and give it some praise. I like not having to go to a new page to see details.

Aug 18, 11:21pm Top

So glad your leg is looking better! And do follow orders and elevate. I know how hard it is just sitting around (3 weeks on crutches in April) but let that leg keep healing.

Aug 18, 11:56pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: - so happy your leg is so much better!

I haven't read anything except Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier, but really enjoyed that one. It's focus on Mary Anning and the history of paleontology was perfect for my interests, though.

Aug 19, 6:21am Top

So glad to hear that your leg is getting better! I hope you have some more great books piled up to make the sitting more bearable.

I too like the cover pop-ups. And I also enjoyed Falling angels when I read it a few years ago.

Aug 19, 6:58am Top

Great news on the leg! Keep it up.

Aug 19, 8:55am Top

Thanks everyone. I'm taking it easy even if it kills me. I'd like to go work at the bench, but there's no way I can elevate my leg and make jewelry down there, so I won't yet. And boy do I have books to read. No worries there. I do miss being outdoors though. I haven't hiked all year because I couldn't with this leg. Haven't been in the kayak in weeks either. I miss nature. And I haven't shot in weeks either, my camera gave me a dirty look. Oh well. It will be over soon. Just in time for fall foliage!

Remarkable Creatures sounds pretty good NorthernStar. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Aug 19, 3:46pm Top

Late, as usual, but great news on the surgery. Read on, and keep recovering!

Yesterday, 9:31am Top

Thanks Busifer. I'm doing my best to do both. Will brave the farmer's market today!

It’s been a while so here are more near mythical gray-eyed people -

Sacrifice by SJ Bolton
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis
Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons
Rawblood by Catroina Ward
Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
The Address by Fiona Davis
Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton
Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell
I Can See You by Karen Rose
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward
Little Eve by Catoina Ward
Provinces of Night by William Gay
Death’s Little Helper by Peter Spiegelman
Ape House by Sarah Gruen

Despite all these fictional people, I’ve still only met one person with truly gray eyes. He worked at a winery, well probably still does, in Paso Robles. I did a literal double take when I was introduced to him.

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