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

The Green Dragon

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Jul 8, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 2:23pm Top

Good luck with Part 3.

Jul 10, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 10:58pm Top

Wow, Portugal is beautiful!

Jul 11, 2019, 2:42am Top

>7 Bookmarque: Thank you for the explanation.

Jul 11, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 3:01pm Top

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

Jul 20, 2019, 8:24am Top

>16 Bookmarque: Happy Thingaversary!

Jul 20, 2019, 8:45am Top

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

Jul 20, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 9:46am Top

>24 Bookmarque: That looks restful.

Jul 24, 2019, 11:58am Top

>24 Bookmarque: It looks super.

Jul 24, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 2:34pm Top

Enjoy your books...and movies.

Aug 2, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 11:28am Top

The colours and clouds in your picture are beautiful.

Aug 5, 2019, 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, 2019, 1:31pm Top

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

Aug 5, 2019, 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, 2019, 2:00pm Top

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

Aug 5, 2019, 2:20pm Top

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

Aug 5, 2019, 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, 2019, 6:11am Top

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

Aug 14, 2019, 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, 2019, 11:28am Top

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

Aug 14, 2019, 11:43am Top

>45 Bookmarque: That is excellent news.

Aug 14, 2019, 1:50pm Top

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

Aug 14, 2019, 8:20pm Top

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

Aug 14, 2019, 9:54pm Top

So happy it went well. Enjoy your downtime!

Aug 14, 2019, 10:23pm Top

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

Aug 15, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 12:00pm Top

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

Aug 15, 2019, 12:56pm Top

Yay for modern medicine!

Aug 15, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 11:04am Top

>62 Bookmarque: Fantastic!

Aug 18, 2019, 11:33am Top

>62 Bookmarque: Fantasticmarvellouswonderfultremendous!

Aug 18, 2019, 12:41pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Wonderful to hear!

Aug 18, 2019, 12:46pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Excellent news!

Edited: Aug 18, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 6:58am Top

Great news on the leg! Keep it up.

Aug 19, 2019, 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, 2019, 3:46pm Top

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

Edited: Jan 16, 6:22pm 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 Helpers 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.

Edited: Aug 29, 2019, 2:32pm Top

Went to the library the other day. Not even a book haul as big as the one at the beginning of the month can keep me away. A modest stack. Mostly backlist.

Haven't started any of them yet, but will soon.

The leg is doing ok. Yesterday I'd begun to despair because it was back up to about the size it was pre-surgery. I took the bandaging off (an elastic wrap type) and this seems to have helped. The calf particularly seems less swollen. So we will see. The surgeon is on vacation until after Labor Day so unless things get crazy I'll just wing it and do the best I can. Some stitches can probably come out, but I'm in no hurry.

Edited: Aug 28, 2019, 11:29am Top

Enjoy your haul of books and keep on getting better.

No helping MrsLee plant flowers.

Aug 28, 2019, 9:33pm Top

Some good reading, there.

I hope the leg goes back down soon. Perhaps you did too much too soon?

Edited: Aug 28, 2019, 10:11pm Top

I'm not sure. I suspect the bandaging was too tight and was actually impeding the new bypasses. It's improved today - especially in my foot and ankle. Before, any time spent on my feet without intense and localized compression made my foot blow up even larger than it was already. Today I spent a couple hours cleaning the kitchen and other chores and my foot and ankle didn't change. No compression at all - just regular socks. So that's an improvement I can definitely see. I will leave off the bandaging and wait to discuss what's next when he's back.

I was just reading my post from the 18th - 10 days made a real change in my foot. You can't see the tendons in it like you can the right, but it's definitely smaller and seems to be staying that way.

Aug 29, 2019, 9:15am Top

I have this book in an omnibus of women crime writers, but I'd love to have this edition. The cover doesn't say anything specifically, it's open to the viewer's imagination and I love how engaging and eye-catching it is.

Oh and I think I felt an ankle bone!!!

Aug 29, 2019, 9:15am Top

Also hoping the temptation to do things isn't impeding the healing. Read those books girl! With the leg up. :)

Aug 29, 2019, 9:19am Top

>82 Bookmarque: That is a great cover! I read the book earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Mine was a plain grey Persephone edition.

Good luck with the resting and I hope your leg continues to heal.

Aug 29, 2019, 9:21am Top

Persephone books are so beautiful. Many on a shelf they just look so put together if you know what I mean.

Thanks MrsL. So far I haven't been tempted outdoors, but it's growing. My time on my feet is doing housework basically. Otherwise I'm sitting on my ever-widening butt.

Aug 29, 2019, 9:31am Top

Here's another cover for The Blank Wall that I love.

Aug 29, 2019, 10:15pm Top

>86 Bookmarque: - is that costume a bathing suit or underwear?

Aug 29, 2019, 10:28pm Top

Bathing suit. But sometimes they look pretty close.

Aug 30, 2019, 11:54am Top

Almost done with the Portugal photos. More here - https://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Travel/Portugal-2019/

Edited: Aug 30, 2019, 12:26pm Top

>89 Bookmarque: That is a super shot. I love the juxtaposition of Paul and the pattern on the doors.

The blue tiles add to it too.

Aug 30, 2019, 1:25pm Top

Anyone who hasn't yet looked at Bookmarque's linked gallery should do so immediately. Gorgeous pictures. I must confess to a small tinge of satisfaction though that she didn't get to the Sao Bento railway station in Porto, with its incredible tiled interior.

And Bookmarque: best wishes for your continued improvement.

Aug 30, 2019, 7:02pm Top

You guys are too kind. Portugal pics wrapping up soon. I haven’t taken so long with any vacation shots before.

Aug 31, 2019, 6:00pm Top

Your photos in the album are lovely and full of atmosphere. Thank you for letting us see them.

Sep 3, 2019, 4:46pm Top

Thanks MrsL. There will be a few more coming, but not many. I'm on the last day!!

Wow, August is gone. I know I keep saying this, but it keeps happening. I got a lot of extra reading done while recuperating from surgery. Here’s how it went -

15 books read
14 fiction, 1 non-fiction
5 new authors, 10 I’ve read before
7 by women, 8 by men
I own all the books I read
6 new one, 1 gift (ER) and 8 used
1 ebook, 4 audio and 10 hard copy


The most popular on LT was Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier with 3225
The least popular on LT was The Words Between Us by Erin Bartles with 19
The oldest was Those who Walk Away by Patricia Highsmith - 1967
A few were published this year

The best was Falling Angels and the worst was Those who Walk Away

Sep 10, 2019, 10:45am Top


I'm done with my Portugal photos. https://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Travel/Portugal-2019/

I think. I may revisit them in future since there are hundreds I haven't touched. The longest I've taken with any vacation pictures. I think maybe the most I've taken on a trip, too, but I'd have to check.

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 11:31am Top

My husband and I just finished watching the Amazon Prime version of the ABC Murders. I've been a big fan of the Suchet version of the character so seeing how he was written and performed in this production was really startling. Nothing against Malkovich, who is one of my favorite actors, I think the direction they took was wrong. Poirot was haunted, insecure, religious and persecuted by both police and public. It made for dramatic TV, but felt strange since I am fairly familiar with the material from books and the BBC series.

I hadn't read the book though I have had it in my To Read collection since 2017. Today I cracked it and am having fun with it; noting all the differences between it and the Malkovich show.

Sep 11, 2019, 10:44am Top

>96 Bookmarque: I have heard bad things about that version of The ABC Murders. Your comments support the things I heard elsewhere. If I join up to Amazon Prime it will not be to watch this.

I enjoyed the book when I read it a couple of years ago.

Sep 11, 2019, 3:29pm Top

I heard the same, but if I didn't like it I could have stopped watching. It was a little painful, but I watched all 3 episodes.

Speaking of Christie - I love this cover -

Sep 11, 2019, 5:03pm Top

>98 Bookmarque: You have a knack of finding great covers.

Sep 11, 2019, 6:14pm Top

Thanks, Pete. I find Christie covers have a lot of variety. So do covers for Frankenstein and Dracula.

I really like this one, too.

Sep 12, 2019, 3:27am Top

>100 Bookmarque:
Nice. It would be a good cover for a Gothic novel too.

Sep 12, 2019, 5:50pm Top

>96 Bookmarque: I watched that. Had to divorce myself from what I know about Poirot, but I did enjoy that series. It's been long enough since I read it that I had forgotten the plot twists, and I really like several of the players in it.

Sep 13, 2019, 5:24am Top

>98 Bookmarque: Ooh, I do like that one!

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 11:52am Top

Ravens and crows are quintessentially Gothic, aren't they? I spent a little time in a park with some crows yesterday and they are so fun.

I had the same thing, MrsL, just had to let the "real" Poirot go. And even though I didn't remember much from watching the Suchet version, I figured out the culprit and had fun watching everyone else get to the same conclusion.

The giant skeletal hand of death!!! Just great.

So here's my comparison between the Malkovich/Grint Amazon Series and the 1936 novel.

I’ve had the book in my Kindle TBR collection since 2017 and reading it so close after watching the new show gave me a perfect opportunity to compare and contrast them.

Even though it got mixed reviews, I decided to watch the Amazon Prime version of The ABC Murders with John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot. I hadn’t read the book yet, but because I’ve read many other Poirot novels and watched basically all the David Suchet shows, I found the changes pretty startling. Not necessarily bad, but if you are a purist about characters, especially beloved ones like Poirot, you won’t like the Amazon version. There are going to be spoilers in this post so if you haven’t read it or watched any adaptations, you might want to stop now.

The biggest thing for me is the change in Poirot’s personality, outlook and situation. First of all he’s been reduced to performing Murder Parties for money - like hiring a magician or a clown. It’s humiliating and as far as I’ve read, not canon. Second, in keeping with how far down in the world he’s come is his persecution by both the police and the public. In the book there are a few references to classic English xenophobia, but in the show it’s basically Nazi sympathy. A little over the top in my opinion. Third, he’s living in a dark apartment that seems Edwardian or possibly Victorian. In the books he lives in a bright, modern service flat. Clean lines and lots of angles. In the beginning of the book Hastings asks if the chickens lay square eggs for him. Which brings me to another big change - the elimination of both Hastings and Chief Inspector Japp. Hastings just doesn’t appear, nor is he mentioned, but Japp is dead. He drops in his vegetable patch with Poirot present. But back to Hercule. Now, granted I haven’t read all the books but making him religious just seemed way out of left field. Not only does he go to church (but refuses communion), but he has a small prayer shrine in his home. A prayer shrine!!

Further, there are a lot of tortured flashbacks from WW1 that plague him. Cinematically, it’s interesting and each time he has one a little more information is conveyed to the viewer. Poirot is on a boat and then immigration where he declares he is a policeman. There’s a church and field and someone yelling that the soldiers are coming. Families look out the church windows into the field. There’s a close up of a young man’s face and he’s clearly in a lot of distress or agony; eventually blood runs into his eyes. Then there’s a shot and someone falls face-down in the golden field. It’s mysterious and disturbing. Eventually it’s revealed that Poirot was a priest in Belgium and that young man had been ordered to shoot him, but couldn’t. Instead the boy is shot by his superior officer and Poirot is clubbed into unconsciousness. When he wakes he finds his church in flames with his parishioners inside. All very tragic and dramatic, but I’ve never heard even a whisper of this in the books.

It’s as if the show creators decided to deliberately take Poirot down a peg. In the books his acumen is so polished and nearly perfect that it might have offended them and so take that Poirot and your little gray cells. It reminds me of people who spray graffiti or otherwise deface a thing that other people love for its beauty or essence. It can be creative, but only in its destructive way.

Also, instead of Japp handing off the investigation to Inspector Crome, we get all Crome all the time in the show and it’s ugly. Crome is an asshole. In the book he’s only mildly disliked, but in the show he’s an overbearing jerk with low-self esteem that manifests in his ridiculing and persecuting basically everyone, but mostly Poirot. Crome brings up the fact that there is no record of his being a cop in Belgium and he doubts everything about Poirot entirely. He keeps at him about who he really is every time they’re together. He abuses his authority and ignores what Poirot tells him. We know it will be to his regret, but it’s hard to watch. Rupert Grint does a nice job with a nasty character.

Here are some other differences between the book and the Amazon show -

  • The letters themselves - they’re handwritten not typewritten and chin, chin is not the closing
  • Cust works from a list of victims (this is alluded to in the show, but at the end)
  • Cops are helpful in the book, hostile in the show
  • Poirot doesn’t find the first victim, Ascher, and doesn’t view the scene of the crime until after the police have investigated and removed the body
  • The ABC guides are face-down in the book which isn’t nearly as dramatic a visual as the blood spattered open pages in the show. Good decision to change in my opinion.
  • Betty wasn’t strangled with a stocking, but her own belt. The stocking angle is stronger in the show than in the book.
  • Betty’s situation is really changed. In the book she has two parents and her sister lives in London. She hasn’t “stolen” sister’s boyfriend and she isn’t such a callous slut as in the show where you kind of can’t wait for her to die.
  • Cust's living situation is really embroidered. In the book there is no drunken landlady who pimps out her daughter to her male boarders. Ditto with daughter Lily. In the book she has sympathy for the pathetic Cust and has a boyfriend so she isn’t free to walk on his back in high heels to punish him for his guilt. Those are gut-wrenching scenes to watch.
  • In the book Poirot organizes the victims’ survivors into a “legion” to help with the investigation. Not in the show.
  • Lady Clark, wife of victim #3 does not know Poirot at all so can’t have thought she saw him at the door because Cust dresses like him. This is only a product of the series. Cust doesn’t dress like Poirot.
  • Cust's epilepsy doesn’t appear in the book until the very end.
  • Oddly, Lily warns Cust by phone that the cops are coming for him.
  • Poirot and Franklin do not have a tete-a-tete over breakfast on execution day. Instead he and Cust have a conversation about how much money Cust should hold out for to tell his story to the papers.
  • Betty’s sister runs away from her horrible mother and icky “boyfriend”. I was really happy to see her do this since she’s so abused and pathetic in the TV show.

And some things that are the same -

  • Poirot dyes his mustache (moustaches)
  • The third note does go astray, but for different reasons. Book = mistake in address, show = neighbor gets it and blames it on the maid. Poirot slams the door in her face.
  • Cust does peddle stockings, and the company has no knowledge of him in both.
  • Gray is scheming, but far less openly or cruelly than in the show.
  • Lady Clark is dying in both.
  • The Doncaster murder is goofed, but the intended victim isn’t a ventroliquist and the mistaken victim a comedian - it’s just the wrong people watching a movie in a theater. Far less fodder for cinematic drama.
  • Charmichael's brother Franklin does play board games with Cust, but it’s dominoes not backgammon
  • In the end there is a boyfriend swap between the sisters Betty and Megan, but it’s very different from the book to the show.
  • Franklin is the real murderer in both. Cust only thinks he has committed them which gives him the chance to be free and in our minds we can picture him with Lily who comes to his bedside in a tender moment of tears at the end of the show. In the book he's up and about.

Phew! I think I got most of them.

I wonder if the adaptation would have worked better if they dropped the Poirot world entirely and just used the story itself. The way it was filmed and the sets are terrific. The opening montage is mesmerizing. I liked Malkovich, but his accent was terrible (sorry John). His tormented portrayal was good, but so far removed from the “real” Poirot that it drove me, and probably every other reader of the books, crazy. Other character performances were good too. Franklin in particular was great. I loved the change in him from ally to villain. Both Betty and Thora were fun; especially the change in Thora after Lady Clark’s death. Watch at your own risk!

Sep 13, 2019, 2:33pm Top

>104 Bookmarque: Good job! I very much enjoyed the visuals and cinematography (are those the same?) of the show, and liked how they used the typewriter. Agreed that if you come at the show not looking for Poirot's world, you still have a good show. Perhaps it was a parallel universe?

Sep 15, 2019, 1:42pm Top

Thanks MrsL. Oh yeah the typewriter bits. Quite menacing. Made me remember how mechanically violent an old one can be.

Here's another fab Christie cover -

Sep 19, 2019, 2:50pm Top

Unlike August where I was house-bound, I've been getting out in September. Monday it was in the high 70s so I hit the Spirit river which is my favorite place to kayak. It was amazing. I saw a tiny snapping turtle swimming at the surface, also a garter snake swim across from bank to bank. Some otters got upset with me (filmed them, will post when I get it hosted) and a bald eagle gave me the stink eye. Plus the colors are coming up -

I'm going to try to go back in a week or so and see if the color is any better. It wasn't this strong all along the miles I paddled.

Sep 19, 2019, 4:48pm Top

>107 Bookmarque: Beautiful, as usual.

Sep 20, 2019, 9:38am Top

>107 Bookmarque: That right there is a really good color if we are lucky, for autumn. Enjoy your freedom to roam!

Sep 20, 2019, 10:23am Top

I'm glad you've been able to get out on the water again. Sounds like the wildlife came by to welcome you back!

Sep 20, 2019, 10:32am Top

Thanks peeps!

Fall color is a tricky thing. It does't last as long here as it does in New Hampshire, and there are far fewer red trees overall. But it's a fleeting beauty that every photographer loves so I'll go back out soon.

I'm glad, too, Sakerfalcon. Here's one of the denizens of the Spirit that didn't beat feet (or wings) at my approach -

Sep 20, 2019, 11:30am Top

That's a real Sam-the-Eagle expression! Gorgeous picture, as always.

Sep 20, 2019, 10:42pm Top

Another cover that stopped me in my tracks -

Holy crap.

Sep 20, 2019, 10:43pm Top

And thanks, hugh. Eagles give good face.

Sep 23, 2019, 8:50am Top

>111 Bookmarque: Wow, that's a great shot. He was posing for you!

Sep 23, 2019, 9:28am Top

Thanks. It was very patient the second time around.

Sep 23, 2019, 12:33pm Top

>116 Bookmarque: By the look on his face he was keeping an eye on you.

Sep 29, 2019, 1:43pm Top

They don't miss much that's for sure!

Here's another shot from the same day. I was in the right place at the right time!

Sep 29, 2019, 3:30pm Top

>118 Bookmarque: Beautiful.

Sep 29, 2019, 5:34pm Top


Sep 29, 2019, 6:02pm Top

Thanks guys. It's hard to take a bad picture on that river. Here's one from where the woods are inundated -

The river is so high that I could sneak down into openings in the woods. Doing that led me to this channel that I've never seen before -

Oh and on the other end of the bird spectrum, here's a ruby-throated hummingbird that came to visit on a previous paddle. She's about 3 feet from me; that branch is directly over the bow of my boat at eye level. My kayak is red so she came in for a closer look.

It's pretty wonderful and I hope it never feels the bite of the development saw.

Sep 29, 2019, 10:30pm Top

Outstanding photos! The ones with the arches look as if they are an entrance to another dimension.

Sep 29, 2019, 11:50pm Top

Lovely. It’s amazing how perfect the reflection in >118 Bookmarque: is.

Sep 30, 2019, 3:29am Top

The pictures in >118 Bookmarque: and >121 Bookmarque: are perfect for jigsaws. The one of the hummingbird would drive people insane, which I think is the purpose of jigsaws.

Oct 1, 2019, 6:25pm Top

Those as puzzles would make me crazy.

Well that’s September gone. It was a busy month. My jewelry shop on Etsy got very busy. I was out more with the camera. I bought a new car. I did manage to read though. Here’s what -


12 books - all fiction (so much for my good intentions)
Only 2 new authors
7 women, 4 men & 1 team
5 borrowed, 7 I bought

Of those all were new, but two were freebies
5 physical books, 2 ebooks, 5 audio books
The oldest was from 1936, the newest from this year
The most cataloged on LT is The ABC Murders with 4655
It is also the oldest book on the list
The least cataloged is Verona by Jeffrey Deaver (this is a short story actually)

Nothing was outstanding, but neither was anything dismal.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:27am Top

>125 Bookmarque: What kind of car? Much happiness in the use of it.

Oct 2, 2019, 9:12am Top

I got a 2019 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Got bad roads? Bring it!

Regular ride height has 8.5 inches of ground clearance, Off Road 2 has 10.5. The thing is awesome. I will have to figure out the whole kayak thing, but I have options and time.

Oct 2, 2019, 10:19am Top

>118 Bookmarque: Just wanted to add my voice in praise of your photographs. I will probably never visit America; vicarious travel is the next best thing.

Oct 2, 2019, 10:28am Top

Thanks, -p-. It's one tiny pocket of America, but I really like northern Wisconsin.

I'll put a link to this video I shot on the same day as the foliage and eagle pictures. It's what happened after I ran into the notorious Spirit River Otter Gang.


Oct 2, 2019, 10:41am Top

>129 Bookmarque: Oh, they are adorable!
Actually your river photos remind me very much of a tributary near here... I must try to get some photos.

Oct 2, 2019, 11:23am Top

>129 Bookmarque: Oh that is awesome! Up periscopes! They are checking you out very thoroughly. Thank you for sharing it, even if I am now pea green with envy!

Oct 2, 2019, 11:27am Top

>127 Bookmarque: Nice! Now what you need is to find two sets of friends with the same vehicles, and support to ship them across the Atlantic. Then you can emulate what the Voetspore team did some years back and drive from Casablanca to the Cape. Unfortunately AFAIK the video is in Afrikaans only, but their later ones have bilingual commentary or English subtitles.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:01pm Top

>129 Bookmarque: Those otters were definitely keeping an eye on you! That must have been so fun to watch in person :)

Oct 3, 2019, 8:19am Top

I wish I could watch that, hugh. I've seen docs about Paris-Dakar. That's close enough for me though.

Aren't they wonderful, Sakerfalcon & Narilka? Who doesn't love otters. I've had an adult huff at me just like that a couple of years ago when the same thing happened, I was drifting downstream (on the Wisconsin that time) and we happened upon each other. No aggression, just a bit of unease and curiosity. Most of the time when I'm making paddling noise I can't get close or flat never see them, but just going with the current is pretty stealthy. I spotted something moving on the banks ahead of me and thought it was ducks or something. A few seconds later I realized it was otters and got the camera up. I wish the lens was the longer one, but what the heck - I got the shot.

Oct 3, 2019, 8:49am Top

That encounter with the otters was great. They were certainly keeping an eye on you.

Edited: Oct 3, 2019, 9:46am Top

>129 Bookmarque: Charming! Three muskrateers?

ETA: I know they are otters, but couldn't resist the pun due to your love of the Dumas characters. :)

Oct 3, 2019, 9:57am Top

>136 MrsLee: I am proud of you, due to my love of muskrats.

Oct 3, 2019, 10:24am Top

>127 Bookmarque:

You know what they say about 4-wheel drive, "They get you stuck in worse places!"

Oct 3, 2019, 10:28am Top

>134 Bookmarque: They sell DVDs of back series online, but when I checked yesterday the shop was closed for renewal. Click on the link in #132 in 2 or 3 weeks' time; AFAIK the blurb will tell you which ones have English commentary. Certainly the India and Equator ones, and I think also the Agulhas to Alexandria and Great Rift ones too. Family Glen watches them as they come out on SABC2, and I see that some back episodes of "Voetspore in South Africa" are available on you-tube. Here is one from two weeks ago, as broadcast. Watch, then go enjoy your new car!

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 7:06pm Top

Your photos are all gorgeous, but that Ruby-throated hummer is the winner, IMHO. I'm surprised to see the leaves changing in some of your shots, and yet down by the river it is still solid mid-Summer green. Is it slightly warmer there?

Oct 4, 2019, 8:13am Top

Thanks clam. She's a beauty isn't she? We get them in the backyard and one (or a series of them) like to nest in our ash tree. It's so high up we need the spotting scope to see her tiny construction of lichen and spider silk, not to mention the kids.

Fall is a weird one up this way. It starts earlier and lasts a shorter time. It hasn't been above the 70s since July. It's probably peak right now away from water. Swamps, ponds, lakes etc, all turn first which is why I'm glad I got to the Spirit when I did. It's been cold and rainy almost every day in the last couple of weeks.

Right now it's 40 F and I'm headed to look at a felsenmeer which according to the dictionary is an assemblage of angular and subangular rock fragments completely mantling the surface and commonly present in mountainous regions above timberline where slopes are not too steep to retain the loose debris. German, from felsen, fels rock (from Old High German felis) + meer sea (from Old High German meri) (mountain), marine - so a sea of rock! It's a State Natural Area that has restricted access so I'm glad to have a guided tour (member of the DNR is leading the walk).

I hope to capture some color today, but it might be past already. I'm going to Weyerhauser which is northwest of here.

Oct 4, 2019, 9:52am Top

>141 Bookmarque: "(member of the DNR is leading the walk)."

... um. In my lingo, having been helping my mother with all of her legalese at this late stage of her life, DNR=Do Not Resuscitate. Not a propitious moniker for the leader of a walk, so I'm assuming it means something else to you. :)

Oct 4, 2019, 2:11pm Top

>141 Bookmarque:, >142 MrsLee: I always have fun trying to guess acronyms, so here’s my entry: Department of Natural Resources? Could also be Do Not Run… which is why they’re leading a Walk instead.

Bookmarque: The pictures are beautiful by the way. I always enjoy seeing them even if I don’t often comment.

Oct 4, 2019, 7:13pm Top

Ha, DNR can indeed mean that, but YouKneeK got it right - Department of Natural Resources. A forestry guy named Ron, formerly a HS Science teacher. Very interesting stuff. Pics soon.

Oct 5, 2019, 4:06pm Top

When a felsenmeer is really a talus.

The group having lunch in the bottom of the felsenmeer, which isn't one really since the angles are too steep. It's really a talus; a rockfall deposit created when rocks fall off cliffs onto snow. When the snow melts they settle into angles that wouldn't be possible without the snow.

It is about 85 feet deep and 1000 yards long (25m and 300m). This is the most exposed section. Others have filled in with plant life. It was probably formed in the late Wisconsin Glaciation - 15-18,000 years ago, so you can see how long it takes for soil to form over geological sites like these.

Oct 9, 2019, 12:39pm Top

Great pictures, as always, and the otters are cute! We had an otter family living just 15 metres from us, up at our cabin, but they were very shy, definitely not telescoping to watch us. They are unloved by the locals, who think they "steal" the fish that people think ought to belong to humans. I disagree, and so we kept their existence quiet, or someone would show up with a rifle. They left when a beaver family wanted the same space.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 2:44pm Top

Thanks, B. I'm always surprised how proprietorial humans are about nature. As if it only belongs to us. Crazy and very sad.

But on another note. I'm busy gearing up for gift giving season. Adding new items to my shop almost daily. If you know a jewelry person and need a quality gift that is unique visit me at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWireSmith?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_i... or www.twsjewelry.com

Oct 15, 2019, 5:16pm Top

Basically the only Jackson book I like. What a great cover, too.

Oct 15, 2019, 9:59pm Top

Oh, those pictures! Gorgeous!

Oct 16, 2019, 6:29am Top

>148 Bookmarque: Ooh, that is good!

Oct 16, 2019, 11:52am Top

So evocative of the novel. Brilliant treatment.

Here's another that caught my eye -

Oct 17, 2019, 2:13pm Top

One for the road -

Oct 24, 2019, 12:04pm Top

The site redesign thread is alternately making me laugh and scream. Laugh because people approach the subject with such scant knowledge of web coding and design that they ask for the ridiculous given the staff level. Scream for the idea that somehow LT is going to become Facebook or Goodreads. It hasn’t since 2005, why would it do so now? No matter how many times Tim or Chris attempt to reassure, people still believe this. It’s crazy.

People fail to remember that LT data is what underpins TinyCat which is the real money-making proposition along with other products that derive from the collective catalog data. If they curtail, infringe, dilute or eliminate cataloging function, they in fact harm their core product(s). Why do that? It makes no sense.

And then there’s that whole “I don’t do social media” thing - like there’s some moral high ground or brownie points for not participating and those of us who do are lesser beings as a result. It’s hilarious and divisive and I really wish people wouldn’t persist in their delusion that it’s a see saw effect. That if one type of improvement is made, an opposite worsening must be a result. Just because the site is going to be more useful for one population doesn’t automatically mean it will be less useful for another.


Oct 24, 2019, 3:08pm Top

Oh wow. Now I really want to check what's going on, over there. Or not: I'm having trouble keeping up with the pub chatter, maybe best staying out of what sounds like a recipe for raised blood pressure... ;-)

Oct 24, 2019, 4:53pm Top

>153 Bookmarque: >154 Busifer: I stopped reading that thread some time ago. Basically I trust the LT staff. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be here. I don’t do social media either but that’s a personal preference, not something that I’d claim brownie points for. >154 Busifer: is right: that thread is a recipe for high blood pressure, and mine is high enough already.

Oct 24, 2019, 5:43pm Top

I'm used to it by now, but I shouldn't have followed it so closely. It's just that a site update and redesign is sorely needed. It hasn't changed since...forever. It's almost embarrassing. Seems like they are on track to good things and I hope they don't get side-tracked by the ridiculous or spend time making it so everyone is happy at the expense of speed or the development/improvement of other features & tools.

Oct 25, 2019, 9:30am Top

>156 Bookmarque: I hear ya. I read the first post from Tim/Chris, then skimmed for their posts, some of them, added a post of my own of support (because if they only hear from the haters how will they know?) and am now leaving it alone because I too trust LT staff. They have a love of this site, and all things cataloging.

Oct 25, 2019, 9:54am Top

I hope they make the changes soon. All this talk slows them down!!

Oct 25, 2019, 10:35am Top

Oct 28, 2019, 1:00pm Top

>157 MrsLee: ... (because if they only hear from the haters how will they know?)
Actually, that is an important point. Too many design decisions are made based on a skewed impression of what "users" actually "think". Asking for input is making sure you will hear from the extremely loud 1-5% who absolutely hate everything that isn't exactly as they'd want it to be. Often they also have a blueprint ready to show how they think things should work/be designed/structured. It is 100% based on their personal opinion, but they are equally 100% sure that they represent every other person on this planet.

But if everyone were exactly identical we would not have different make or colour clothes, different restaurants, haircuts, genre books and movies... I have not checked what their process is but trust the LT team has made studies of what works and don't, in different contexts and using both quantitative and qualitative methods, as is the industry standard, besides showing examples in Talk.

Oct 28, 2019, 3:56pm Top

I think the team are pros so won't be too swayed by crabby crowd complaints. it's really the underlying code that needs changing so it can be updated and altered more easily than what they've cobbled together so far. If the design can be cleaner and clearer I think most people will be happy. So long as certain functions are still there (and I see no reason why they won't be) we might just have to learn where to find them. Like getting used to a new car - having to train yourself as to where the clock is or the outside temperature reading. Eventually it's rote.

Oct 29, 2019, 8:50am Top

Sometimes when I have time to kill, I work through a recommendations list on a particular book and fill in Original publication dates and/or descriptions. I discover some interesting books this way, but some of them crack me up. Like this eye-rolling wish-fulfillment vehicle -

"Tightly plotted and fast paced, Girl Crazy is a cinematic ride through one man’s obsession with a younger woman. Justin, a dissatisfied community college teacher, meets Jenna and is attracted at once to her mixture of toughness, vulnerability and ripe sexuality. Jenna is unlike anyone Justin has ever known -- through her he discovers a world of drugs and sex, casual violence and intimidation that at first frightens and then thrills him. Justin falls deeper into Jenna’s thrall, particularly as her erratic behaviour keeps him guessing. When Jenna ends the relationship abruptly, Justin finds he isn’t willing to let go of this new life, or of Jenna, without a fight."

I can only imagine. Oy.

Oct 29, 2019, 9:01am Top

>161 Bookmarque: Just so.

>162 Bookmarque: Ewww!
(Or at least that's my reaction.)

Oct 31, 2019, 4:49pm Top

Yeah, I've read my share of this kind of thing and now avoid at all costs. Squicky.

Ran across another cool cover. This actually depicts a few recurring scenes in the book.

Nov 1, 2019, 6:04am Top

So many wrongs with this one...!

Nov 1, 2019, 9:05am Top

I don't think it's so bad...???

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 9:56am Top

>164 Bookmarque: >165 Busifer: >166 Bookmarque: I don't think i'd read it on the bus. (And I have actually read the book—a long time ago.)

Nov 1, 2019, 9:48am Top

>166 Bookmarque: The main things are size of sledge hammer vs the chisel, their respective angles, the position of his arm vs chisel, and the angle between the chisel and the stone.
My leg hurts only thinking of how in the next frame he's injured himself, blood spraying, etc... ;-)

Nov 1, 2019, 9:58am Top

>168 Busifer:
And worst of all, he's left handed. Did you ever?


Nov 1, 2019, 10:22am Top

Oh I gotcha now. I was thinking stylistically and thematically not in terms of actually having to use the tools. It is all kinds of wrong there!!

Nov 1, 2019, 10:28am Top

>169 pgmcc: Yeah, my brain hurts!

>170 Bookmarque: Once seen I couldn't unsee it...

Nov 2, 2019, 11:43am Top

>171 Busifer: I have a tapestry in my house, the subject of which is a California Mission. I love it, but my two children who can draw hate it. They tell me the perspective hurts their brains. I don't see it, but I can't draw a stick.

On Halloween, one of the tricksters, a girl of between 8 and 11 years of age, kept looking past me, away from the candy bowl where most children's eyes are glued. She finally blurted out, just before leaving, "I LOVE that picture on the wall!" Probably means she can't draw a stick either, but I was tickled.

I keep telling me kids if they hate it so to make a new and properly drawn one. I still have the original.

Nov 2, 2019, 1:10pm Top

>172 MrsLee:
I love that story.

The things we love can be flawed but that does not matter; we love them regardless.

So, post a picture of the tapestry and we can all tell you what is wrong with it.

Nov 3, 2019, 10:45am Top

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 1:26pm Top

>173 pgmcc: & >174 Busifer: You guys don't know what you are asking. I got a new cell phone yesterday, and a new laptop, so I am working through a huge learning curve. However, one of the things I wanted to be familiar with was how to transfer photos from my phone to my laptop, so this is a good lesson.

Sorry >170 Bookmarque: for putting this on your thread, but they MADE me!

Nov 3, 2019, 1:30pm Top

Ow my eyes!!

Just kidding. They bullied you into it didn't they? lol
Let the critique begin!!

Nov 3, 2019, 1:43pm Top

I'm trying to make up my mind if the arches of the wing in the background are out of proportion (too tall) or the arch at the end of the near cloister is too low. Nonetheless, I reckon you could build that structure if there was a reason to do so. But why is the doorway at the end there so narrow? you could only get in there crabwise!

Nov 3, 2019, 2:59pm Top

>175 MrsLee: That is super.

I presume the tapestry was hand made. Making something like that by hand will inevitable result in some flaws. It is the flaws that prove its perfection and that demonstrate the involvement of the human hand.

Good luck with your new phone and laptop. Thank you for being so obedient and putting up the picture. :-)

By the way, I suspect Bookmarque would have joined in the bullying if you hadn't put the picture up on time.

Nov 3, 2019, 4:04pm Top

>176 Bookmarque:, >177 hfglen: It is the way the feet of the columns are at a slight angle to the upper parts of the arches that is fascinating me. And the way that these bases are not symmetrically below the pillars. But the real question is: why us the third arch higher than the others in the distant colonnade?

Seriously, choosing such an angular view for such a nonlinear medium as handwoven tapestry demonstrated a high degree of confidence (or enthusiasm) on the part of the craftsperson.

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 11:48pm Top

For the record, my son says there are at least six major errors. I can never remember all of them, because I love it, but >179 -pilgrim-: has mentioned a couple, as has >177 hfglen:.

Me? I just see a peaceful retreat. By the way, my feelings, nor my opinion will be harmed by other folks expressing their views. I didn't paint it.

Edited: Nov 4, 2019, 5:17am Top

I like it! The image to me speaks of peace and tranquility. Maybe if I stared at it for long enough I'd see flaws but it's the atmosphere that is the main attraction for me, not technical perfection.

Nov 4, 2019, 5:57am Top

Thanks for posting (and for the patience of bookmarque)! The craftsperson seemingly didn't have that good a grasp of perspective, which in turn has resulted in several "errors". However, much as pgmcc says - the maker was probably not a professional, and it is a very difficult medium, so I'm not going to criticise. As long as it brings joy everything is good!

(The standard way to get around this kind of challenge seems to be to place things in layered layouts, so to speak, and so evading the problem.)

Nov 4, 2019, 7:38am Top

No problem putting it here. I see why you like it MrsL. It's restful and inviting. A secret retreat.

Nov 4, 2019, 1:44pm Top

I see the flaws, but I also think it's beautiful. It reminds me a bit of Santa Cruz City Hall.

Nov 4, 2019, 4:23pm Top

Another eye-catching, but strange cover. And not just for the giant distracting stripes.

Nov 5, 2019, 9:45am Top

>185 Bookmarque: Interesting. Death by box of chocolates?

Nov 5, 2019, 11:57am Top

>186 MrsLee: You could do worse.

Edited: Nov 6, 2019, 8:29am Top

>148 Bookmarque: Oooh! That is a very cool cover. I still haven't read that one.

>164 Bookmarque: The worst thing about that cover is that he's got a mullet. 😄

>175 MrsLee: I think it's lovely. Just tell your kids it's intentionally primitive, like Grandma Moses' folk art.

>185 Bookmarque: WTF were they thinking? They may have just grabbed an image that was floating around the editor's office and slapped it on there.

Nov 6, 2019, 11:53am Top

Sometimes cover art does make me wonder. Not this one though - it's a pretty literal interpretation - very moody and sinister.

Nov 6, 2019, 7:56pm Top

>189 Bookmarque: I like that one too. Feels very appropriate for the story.

Nov 7, 2019, 8:56am Top

So far as I remember, it's pretty spot on.

Will get to a November wrap post eventually. I've been busy making and listing things for the shop. Two more to go that are already done and then I have to hit the bench. Here are the latest -

Most of these are made with fine silver as opposed to sterling which is an alloy.

Business has been steady, but not crazy so it's good. Leaves me time to tinker as well as do production work, but not much time to read. I sometimes listen to audiobooks if I'm making simple stuff that doesn't require my entire focus, but usually it's silence or music.

Have two amazing fine silver and amethyst pieces to go into the shop. One has photos done, the other, the necklace, doesn't. The beads are cushion cut and simply marvelous.

Ok. I'll shut up now. Don't you have some Christmas shopping to do? lol

Nov 7, 2019, 9:30am Top

>175 MrsLee: yep, I see the flaws. I think it’s a beautiful picture, if I don’t look at it too long. But kudos to whomever painted it. Wish I could paint that well!

>191 Bookmarque: I definitely need to visit your shop! I love all of that!

Nov 7, 2019, 9:44am Top

Thanks catz! My design guideline is that if I wouldn't wear it, I won't make it. I cater to my taste pretty exclusively. That way there's some definition to my work instead of it being all over the place and following what's trendy (tassel earring anyone??!). Mostly it's clean lines and not a lot of fussy detail.

Nov 7, 2019, 4:30pm Top

>191 Bookmarque: Lovely stuff! I've already been stalking your etsy page, btw. 'Tis the season.

(Feel free to post a link on the Green Dragon Facebook group. There are a bunch of people in there who don't visit here anymore.)

Nov 7, 2019, 5:35pm Top

thanks clam, I will probably do that. I didn't want to intrude or be a self-promoting jerk.

the shop is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWireSmith

and these just went in -

Nov 8, 2019, 6:21am Top

>195 Bookmarque: Those are lovely. I do love the clear amethyst that you use.

Nov 8, 2019, 2:33pm Top

Thank you. One of my bead suppliers has really excellent quality strings and I couldn't help myself with these even though they were pricey.

Went to a Friends of the Library sale. Lowest amount of books I've brought home from one of these (only 8), but the most movies. $18 for the lot.

Nov 9, 2019, 6:22pm Top

Been working through some of my September/October photos, so I present you 'the magical 5 minutes of northern Wisconsin fall' -

More here if you can't get enough - https://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Landscapes/The-View-from-Here

Nov 9, 2019, 6:47pm Top

>198 Bookmarque: I love all those photographs but the last one has caught me in particular. Its haunting appearance is totally eerie.

Nov 9, 2019, 7:36pm Top

>198 Bookmarque: Simply beautiful. All of them.

Nov 9, 2019, 8:07pm Top

Thanks folks. I haven't processed all of the fog forest shots. I drive by the section of woods quite a bit and noticed it in particular one day. The next was foggy so off I went.

I'll get to the rest of them soon.

Nov 9, 2019, 8:20pm Top

>198 Bookmarque: So pretty! You live in a beautiful part of the country. I love that small waterfall and pool.

Nov 10, 2019, 3:38am Top

>201 Bookmarque: stunning pictures, as always. Curiously, we've been having very similar weather to the shot in this post. But we call it "early summer".

Nov 10, 2019, 1:07pm Top

Glorious! I would love to sit in those woods for an hour or so, perhaps on something plastic so my bottom didn't get wet. :P

Nov 10, 2019, 4:38pm Top

thanks peeps! It's short, but wonderful. Here's a shot from the kayak on my favorite river to paddle.

Nov 10, 2019, 10:00pm Top

Great images!

Nov 11, 2019, 9:35am Top

Thanks much. It's brown stick season now and pretty cold (teens). Maybe later this week I'll go out and about in search of abandonment.

Nov 12, 2019, 9:58am Top

Brown stick season can be lovely as well. Its when you can see all the skeletons of the trees.

Nov 12, 2019, 10:25am Top

>208 MrsLee: Absolutely. I remember in The Wind in the Willows, when Rat and Mole are out walking in winter, the narrative voice says something like "you could see the bones of the country, and they were fine and strong and simple".

Nov 12, 2019, 11:49am Top

Brown stick season is fine as long as it is followed by actual winter. I remember one year that I lived in NY it didn't snow all winter and it was just brown sticks for like 5 months. TERRIBLE!

Nov 12, 2019, 12:45pm Top

True guys. Trees are lovely clothed or naked. And I’m totally with you littlegeek. Snow for skiing and snowshoeing please!

Nov 12, 2019, 1:32pm Top

Stick season is also good for spotting birds. Fewer places for them to hide.

Nov 13, 2019, 12:42am Top

Stick season can be pretty, but I do love when the snow comes and there's no mud or dirt for months. Of course I do currently have a dog who's never seen a puddle he didn't like. I love not having mud everywhere all winter.

Nov 14, 2019, 9:56am Top

I'm going to try to get out tomorrow and see what's to be seen. It will be up into the 30s so not too freezing. There's a recreated historical village or town or something a little way from here that I will try to find.

Here's an eagle to tide you over -

Nov 14, 2019, 10:00am Top

>214 Bookmarque: That is a "WOW!" shot. I love the stare.

Nov 14, 2019, 10:24am Top

>214 Bookmarque: Wow! indeed.

Nov 14, 2019, 10:48am Top

thanks guys.

I chased this one out of 'the eagle tree' at my favorite kayaking place. It sailed off and circled on out of sight only to meet up with me again downriver. This time it wasn't concerned and let me put the boat in the weeds for a lens change and a steadier shot.

Nov 15, 2019, 8:21am Top

>217 Bookmarque: He is a ham and flew to that perfect branch so he could give you his best side. :D

Nov 15, 2019, 9:38am Top

Man, your pics make me want to move! I love the fog shots. I miss foggy days. We don't get much fog here in the high desert.

Nov 15, 2019, 9:48am Top

thanks guys. When husband was first approached about the job here he asked me what I thought about Wisconsin. I said I didn't. It's not quite a fly-over state like Nebraska, but it's close. Now I'm here I can't believe my luck. It's beautiful even if there are no mountains or an ocean. I'm going out today just to wander and shoot abandonment.

Here's more fog just for you catz!

Nov 15, 2019, 10:53am Top

Say "Wisconsin" and this foreigner immediately thinks CHEESE! (And pretty good cheese too.) Very appropriate to this pub!

Nov 15, 2019, 11:05am Top

If you avoid the orange, the cheese is pretty decent. I buy from a small shop in town that carries basically all Wisconsin cheeses plus other local stuff like maple syrup (sugar maples grow like weeds here).

Nov 18, 2019, 4:51pm Top

Another cover that caught my attention. Mostly because of the idea of this contraption as a Victorian time machine. Funny.

Edited: Nov 19, 2019, 8:30pm Top

>214 Bookmarque: Magnificent photo! I've had one hanging around here, but my best photo with my phone turned out to be a brown blob with a little white blob on top. LOL It wouldn't let me get very close, especially since I had the pup along.

Nov 20, 2019, 8:07am Top

Thanks clam. I practically hit one in the car the other day. Back road. Twisty. Driving into the sun and up it comes off some roadkill. They are so big they need a lot of space and time to get airborne so they usually pick right in front of your car in the nice clear roadway. You hit the brake and gawk and swear while they flap slowly and get out of your way. If you stick around they glare at you from the tree they're waiting in to go back to lunch. Seriously. It's nuts.

Otherwise I find them skittish in general, but surprisingly tolerant at times, especially when I'm in the kayak. Wisconsin is dirty with them. Most birds are ok with the boat. Except for ducks. Ducks just flap away madly.

And speaking of mad.

Looks like that Ayla invented stick-built housing construction as well.

Nov 20, 2019, 11:35am Top

>225 Bookmarque: I didn't realize they ate carrion. I've never seen them in the road, but this one has co-opted the empty osprey's nest closest to my usual beach haunts.

That cover is hilarious. 🤣

Nov 21, 2019, 5:22pm Top

They're pretty good scavengers. I often see them with ravens, crows and vultures although I think they're top bird in those situations.

Some of the covers I run across are great, some are sad and some are great because they're sad. I think that qualifies as one.

This one though, is brilliant. I haven't read it in 20 years, but it encompasses the story perfectly.

Nov 23, 2019, 6:44pm Top

From my wanderings. There were many Keep Out and No Trespassing signs. Even ropes across the driveway attached to pylons. Luckily I found other places with no signs and I walked right up to them. More later.

Nov 29, 2019, 2:35pm Top

This came up in my cover rotation a while back. Hilarious if you read the Reacher books. Hell, even if you've only read one or seen the movie, it's funny.

Nov 29, 2019, 8:41pm Top

>220 Bookmarque: thanks! It’s beautiful. I’m walking through it in my mind and smelling all the smells. Aaahhh.

>225 Bookmarque: that cover! Oh my!

Dec 3, 2019, 2:16pm Top

Yeah, old places like that smell pretty strong. I was up close (in a doorway) of one recently and I could smell is long before you could see in the door.

Here's where I was yesterday. No bad smells!

Perfect snowshoeing day. 20s (F). No wind. Sunny. 14 inches of snow!

A great day for capturing sun rays -

Dec 3, 2019, 9:11pm Top

So pretty!

Dec 4, 2019, 4:44am Top

Gorgeous! I love the sun rays through the trees.

Dec 4, 2019, 4:56am Top

>231 Bookmarque:
Those pictures convey a lovely fresh feeling. Super shots.

Dec 6, 2019, 2:26pm Top

Here's another cool place I visited in the fall. As are many other perfectly harmless natural formations, it's named the Devil's Kettle. No idea why. I didn't see him anywhere.

I was on a group hike so had no tripod to do long exposure with. I plan to hit it in the spring and I'll be able to get them then. For more pictures and my thoughts on why so many places are named for the devil, click this >>> https://wickeddarkphotography.com/2019/11/17/a-devilish-situation/

Dec 7, 2019, 7:21am Top

>235 Bookmarque: I would have to disagree with your thesis regarding devil-related place names.

I can only speak for British nomenclature, but I am aware of two main sources there. The first is that traditional religion had a strong natural component, with many sacred groves, springs, trees and rivers, as attested by the Roman historians. When Christianity arrived (in its Roman, rather than its Celtic, form), it designated all pagan deities as "demons" or "devils", and thus any place that had been sacred to pagan religion was stigmatized as a "Devil's...."

The second reason is more amusing. "The Old Man" in Scots Gaelic is both a euphemism for the Devil, and a euphemism for a certain part of the male anatomy. There are a lot of natural rock formations that take the form of a single peak, resembling a finger... or the male anatomy. They were named for what they resembled. But when prudish Victorian cartographers asked for a translation of the name, their guides chose to interpret the reference to the "Old Man" as being the Devil, rather than the more literal alternative.

A lot of "Devil's..." places in England have a real sense of the numinous. One can feel why they were felt to be sacred, from ancient times.

Dec 7, 2019, 8:20am Top

>236 -pilgrim-: Offhand I can only think of one devil-related place name in South Africa: Duiwelskloof, now called Modjadji's Kloof. That certainly fits your first reason: the place is named (in both incarnations) after the Bolobedu Rain Queen, said to be the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's She. The narrow-minded Voortrekkers who colonised the place would not have found the idea of a matrilineal rainmaker acceptable in any way.

While typing the above paragraph I thought of another reason for -pilgrim- and Bookmarque. Just outside Stellenbosch the road to Franschhoek goes over a pass variously called Banhoek (bang-hoek = fear corner) or Helshoogte (Hell's heights). Why the name? Remember that the place was explored by newly arrived Dutch settlers, and that most of the Netherlands is dead flat. The ridge behind Stellenbosch is the first proper mountain they'd have seen on the way inland.

Dec 7, 2019, 8:45am Top

Ah, that could be ~p~. I hadn't considered Christianity's talent to vilify what it can't control. Here though I doubt any person of European descent saw that lovely little waterfall until well into the 18th century so that's probably not the reason. It still maddens me.

The Netherlands certainly is flat. No waterfalls for them. But the nomenclature could be right. Fear of the unknown. It must be...(church lady pause)...Satan!

Dec 9, 2019, 4:22am Top

Whatever the origins of its name, that is a beautiful spot. I enjoyed seeing the other photos of it in your blog post, so thanks for linking.

Dec 10, 2019, 6:26pm Top

Thanks Sakerfalcon. I plan to go back during snow melt to see how rushing the water is. There's a canyon there I want to explore, too. Long exposure stuff.

Today was in the single digits so I stayed in and played with metal. I've been learning and practicing techniques using these whale tails that I cut out. The first one is soldered onto a backplate and the second is hammered and shaped with a small lapis stone set on it.

My new bench and flex shaft have made my life much easier and I'm having a lot of fun with little practice projects. Unfortunately reading has taken a back seat. I can't even listen to an audiobook since I have to concentrate quite a bit as it's all new to me. Oh well.

Dec 14, 2019, 11:43am Top

A recent visitor to the yard. They're so cute. Only the 2nd time I've seen one in the yard.

It kept going up the tree eventually ending up at the top - about 40 feet up. It hung out then came down slowly and ambled off.

Edited: Dec 14, 2019, 11:54am Top

>241 Bookmarque: Cute little demons. Like the deer who graze their way through my yard and destroy my fruit trees and roses, raccoons eat the fish out of my pond. Both are too cute to do anything nasty to though, so I live with them, and don't restock my pond with fish very often.

Oh, and I love your whale tale pieces.

Dec 14, 2019, 12:22pm Top

I hear you. Three deer are here this am. Snow is deep so they stay close to the river's edge, on the ice, nibbling. I do chase them off the bird feeder though. We moved it higher so hopefully they can't reach anymore.

Dec 14, 2019, 4:01pm Top

>241 Bookmarque: Beautiful photos. And gorgeous creatures. I love his insouciant expression!

Dec 14, 2019, 5:48pm Top

>241 Bookmarque: Raccoons are fun mischief :) I've only had one come to my backyard bird feeder in 7 years and I had fun watching it be curious.

Dec 15, 2019, 9:52am Top

They are really interesting critters. Smart with basically hands so they can get into everything whether you want them to or not.

More drama in the yard. We had two then three stray kitties hanging around. This isn't the first time, but it is the first time I've managed to wrangle one.

Turns out it was a boy and he's now with the local Humane Society since I really can't have any more cats. Hopefully he finds a loving home. He was very weak, but managed to eat (mmm ... left over gravy!) and was a bit livelier when he got to the shelter. Cute little guy.

There are two more on the patio. We feed them a few times a day and put out water until it freezes. They run from us each time, but only to the edge of the patio behind the grill. If it sit away from the bowl they will slowly come to it and eat while I'm there, but every time I move they startle. Probably don't have a pet in their genealogy for several generations so they may never come to trust me enough to be wrangled. But we'll see. These two are also young (probably less than a year) and all black. I'll see if I can get a picture later.

Dec 15, 2019, 1:01pm Top

That's a very handsome tabby! Good luck with the others.

Dec 16, 2019, 5:21am Top

He's a lovely looking kitty. I'm sure he'll find a home soon. I'd have him if I was closer ...

Dec 16, 2019, 9:08am Top

He could be a litter mate with the other two for all I know, but he was much more tolerant of my presence. The other two have progressed to running to the front of the grill instead of behind it.

Dec 16, 2019, 4:55pm Top

>235 Bookmarque: I would be visiting that place all of the time! How perfect. I'll bet it's spectacular with snow as well.

>240 Bookmarque: Love the whale's tails. Sorry I haven't ordered anything yet. My daughter found a bunch of stuff she liked, and then never narrowed it down. So perhaps I'll be making a Valentine's Day order. She coming to stay for a longer than usual visit, so I might be able to force her to make some decisions. LOL

>246 Bookmarque: What a cutie. Good luck catching the other two. Can't your humane society loan you a humane trap to bait with tuna?

Dec 16, 2019, 5:42pm Top

I haven't asked about traps, but you never know. So far they are letting me sit closer to them while they eat, but they still run away when the door opens. Silly things.

Thanks on the whale tales. And if something your daughter liked has sold, let me know and I might be able to make another. Spent some time at the bench for the past couple days and made some things, but I'm having surgery on Thursday and not sure when I'll be able to photograph them for the listings.

Dec 16, 2019, 7:13pm Top

Good luck with the surgery!

Dec 17, 2019, 2:30am Top

Yes - good luck with your surgery!

Dec 17, 2019, 3:32am Top

>251 Bookmarque: All the best for Thursday. We will be thinking of you.

Dec 17, 2019, 6:23am Top

>251 Bookmarque: Strength and good luck!

Dec 18, 2019, 7:12am Top

Best of luck from me too!

Dec 18, 2019, 7:52am Top

And me!

Dec 18, 2019, 11:52am Top

Thanks peeps. Leaving in about an hour. 4 hour drive or so.

Dec 18, 2019, 6:06pm Top

Hope it went well and you have a speedy recovery!

Dec 18, 2019, 9:25pm Top

I hope the surgery goes well!

Dec 18, 2019, 10:11pm Top

Thanks guys. In Rochester now. 5:45 am tomorrow. Oy vey.

Dec 20, 2019, 3:14pm Top

Good luck with the surgery! Hope all goes/went well!

Dec 20, 2019, 3:45pm Top

It's all over and I'm at home. Feet up, processing jewelry photos for the shop. Because this was a de-bulking surgery my recovery time will be longer. Basically it's liposuction to remove the engorged tissue in my leg. Also the remaining non-functional lymph nodes so hopefully my leg stops being so huge. It's more painful than the last surgery, but not as bad as my dental bone implant so I can take it.

I have two turkey-baster bulbs on my leg to hold the fluid that will be draining off. Probably a week or two, but it's variable. I have no pants to fit so got an enormous pair of hospital scrubs as a parting gift.

Dec 20, 2019, 7:39pm Top

Glad to hear it's over and you're home. Sorry to hear that it was more painful than the last surgery. I hope the recovery goes well and that all goes to plan. Best wishes.

Dec 20, 2019, 7:44pm Top

Glad to hear you are home. I hope the healing goes smoothly.

Dec 21, 2019, 5:20am Top

That does not sound fun. Take care of yourself; I'll be thinking of you.

Dec 21, 2019, 6:02am Top

Sounds awful. Get well thoroughly (it doesn't sound like 'soon' is an option).

Dec 21, 2019, 8:11am Top

>263 Bookmarque: I wish you well and steady healing as it appears rapidy may not be the appropriate term.

Dec 21, 2019, 8:37am Top

Thanks peeps. I appreciate you thinking of me. If I stay right on schedule with the pain meds, walking isn't agony so I'll just keep that up. Hope to shower later today, but I dread looking under the bandages. Eek!

Dec 21, 2019, 11:20am Top

Crikey, sounds like no fun at all. Best wishes, and get well as soon as possible.

Dec 21, 2019, 2:54pm Top

May you have engaging books to read while you recover.

Dec 22, 2019, 1:21pm Top

Thanks peeps. It's a pretty horrible surgery, but it's done and I'm coping. Today was the worst for dizziness and ringing ears, so I don't move around too much. Took a nap. Husband made me some lovely eggs for lunch and I'm nibbling a plum. Hope my strength returns a little for Christmas day, but since it's just the two of us anyway it won't matter much.

In an odd coincidence, my first cousin Michael is recovering from surgery as well. A bleed or tear in part of his intestine which had to be removed. Not sure if he'll make it home for Christmas, but he's awake and doing fine.

Stray kitties are still here and more energetic thanks to the magic food bowl. Hubby says they're a tiny bit braver when he feeds them, too.

Here's one of my favorite shots from our very short fall season -

It's in one of the major sections of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Dec 22, 2019, 2:18pm Top

>272 Bookmarque: I love the texture in amongst the trees and the contrast with the texture on the ground with the dead leaves and fresh ferns. Lovely.

Dec 23, 2019, 9:11am Top

Thanks, Pete. The light was incredible that day and as a bonus some of the ferns were still green. I love the contrast it makes and it's my favorite thing to photograph. Luckily it comes around every year.

Dec 26, 2019, 6:04am Top

I hope you've been recovering well over the last few days and that the pain isn't so great. Hope you have lots of good books to keep you company while you rest up.

Dec 26, 2019, 11:09am Top

Thanks Sakerfalcon.

Things have been slow, but today is the best one since the day after I got home. That was when the long-acting local anesthetic was strongest. After it got weaker and wore off, things got bad. Lots of pain. Dizziness. I almost passed out in the shower. Luckily it has a seat and I could gather my strength again. Now I think I could take a shower without danger and I can get around without feeling like someone is trying to strip my calf muscle off the bone.

My turkey basters are slowing down, but still need to be in place. I'm still tired, but that's healing. It takes it out of you.

Dec 26, 2019, 12:19pm Top

Oh, man, so sorry it’s been this hard! I hope the healing continues and you feel a little better every day.

Dec 26, 2019, 12:39pm Top

Thanks. I deliberately did not look up lymphedema de-bulking surgery prior because it wouldn't do anything except make me more anxious and dread the surgery. I went in blind, but knowing it's basically liposuction and since I have some familiarity with how violent that surgery really is, I knew this recovery would be longer than that lymphatic bypass was. I imagine I'll be housebound for another couple weeks.

Severe pain has been replaced with intense uncomfortableness. In the sense that I can't put my leg in ANY position that it likes. I've had my foot up so long it's developed numbness that is damn near intolerable. Crazy, but true. So now the pain of walking is less, I'm trying to do more of that and less sitting. It helps. I get my own water/pills/snacks/whatever and just now cleaned two toilets. I do what I can and no more. Pushing myself too far won't help me heal faster, but I do need to move occasionally. I'll get there.

Dec 26, 2019, 4:25pm Top

>278 Bookmarque: Good lord. I'm glad there is progress, but yikes! Hope your recovery proceeds with lightning-like swiftness.

Dec 26, 2019, 4:42pm Top

Thanks. Today gives me hope that the worst is behind me. I don’t know if I have to sit out the winter yet or not, so I went snowshoeing once and skiing. That might be all she wrote.

Dec 26, 2019, 5:38pm Top

This sounds horrible. You take care there. Take things gently, pushing too hard only makes the healing slower in the long term.

Dec 26, 2019, 6:26pm Top

thanks ~p~, it means a lot coming from you since this is no way in the league you're in. It will end, hopefully well. Meanwhile it looks like someone ran over my foot. So swollen. I've never seen it this bad. And my calf seems the same size despite having pounds of flesh taken off it. I hope it's just trauma swelling. Oy vey. I'll shut up.

Dec 27, 2019, 8:53am Top

Ouch! Hopefully the worst is past and you get some pain relief soon.

Dec 27, 2019, 9:34am Top

what Narilka said

Dec 27, 2019, 11:04am Top

>282 Bookmarque: What -pilgrim- said. Don’t go and break yourself now for goodness’ sake.

Dec 27, 2019, 11:31am Top

No worries there. I really don't have the strength. Having a shower is a major undertaking and while I didn't nearly pass out during, I got dizzy afterwards and it made me sweat. Define irony. lol

So back on the couch I am. Feel a nap coming on.

Dec 27, 2019, 2:06pm Top

Here's to your full recovery. Let yourself rest, maybe get some reading done!

Dec 28, 2019, 4:18pm Top

Hmm, I’m thinking baby wipe baths for a few days. They aren’t the best, but it sounds like showering may be too heard for you still.

Rest, read, and catch up on Netflix shows.

Dec 29, 2019, 11:43am Top

Thanks catz - I'm reading and trying to be positive. I'm stretching the time between showers, but can't not take one since I feel so extra gross. I think it will get easier.

Our internet connection isn't robust enough for streaming, unfortunately. But I have lots of other stuff to keep me occupied.

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