'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Flicker Alert!

Went outside with my coffee yesterday morning and found this munching on the bugs in my yard...



He's a Flicker. Gorgeous and quite large. I was mesmerized! My treasure for the day! Hope he comes back. We have lots of woodpeckers here!

I've been battling with a couple of squirrels over my feeders. They dump out all the feed  and climb down onto the suet and eat it. The poor birds can't even get to the feeders anymore. I've been at my wits end with these two! But I think I've solved the problem! A simple slinky toy! I wanted to keep the feeders in the tree and not have to buy a pole and an expensive baffle. They climb down the line and tip the feeder and empty it and then eat from the ground. Can't wait to see him try to do it now! Did the same to the line going down to the suet.

This morning the squirrels are on the ground and the birds are abundant again! Lets hope it stays this way!

There's a nest in my new gourd bird house! It's on the back tree line and I can't see the bird good enough to tell what it is. It's brown and very small and looks like it has a long beak but I can't get close enough to tell. It flits around so fast and never sits still to get a good look with the binoculars, but I'll keep trying. I shot a pic of it but its a little blurry and I still can't tell. Probably just a little sparrow or a finch. What's your guess?

I'm away to sit outside with my coffee and see if my Flicker comes back!  Have a great day and don't forget to keep your eyes opened for your treasure of the day!

Peggy Ann

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

Published by: Penguin Press
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Print Length: 369 pages   
ISBN: 9781594205781
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
My Source: Netgalley


Description
From the internationally bestselling author, a deeply researched and atmospheric murder mystery of late Victorian-era London
In the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age 13) and his brother Nattie (age 12) were seen spending lavishly around the docklands of East London — for ten days in July, they ate out at coffee houses and took trips to the seaside and the theater. The boys told neighbors they had been left home alone while their mother visited family in Liverpool, but their aunt was suspicious. When she eventually she forced the brothers to open the house to her, she found the badly decomposed body of their mother in a bedroom upstairs. Robert and Nattie were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey.
Robert confessed to having stabbed his mother, but his lawyers argued that he was insane. Nattie struck a plea and gave evidence against his brother. The court heard testimony about Robert’s severe headaches, his fascination with violent criminals and his passion for ‘penny dreadfuls’, the pulp fiction of the day. He seemed to feel no remorse for what he had done, and neither the prosecution nor the defense could find a motive for the murder. The judge sentenced the thirteen-year-old to detention in Broadmoor, the most infamous criminal lunatic asylum in the land. Yet Broadmoor turned out to be the beginning of a new life for Robert–one that would have profoundly shocked anyone who thought they understood the Wicked Boy.
At a time of great tumult and uncertainty, Robert Coombes’s case crystallized contemporary anxieties about the education of the working classes, the dangers of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of criminality, childhood, and insanity. With riveting detail and rich atmosphere, Kate Summerscale recreates this terrible crime and its aftermath, uncovering an extraordinary story of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

There was a lot of research went into this book I'm sure! A terrible crime of matricide in 1895. I was a little disappointed in it as it was a lot of detail and info, more so than 'story'. Lots of info on the published thoughts on insanity and child psychology of the time, which was a little 'out there'! I would have liked to have gotten to 'know' the characters a little more, but this is a true crime book and from so long ago. The last chapters that told about the brothers later in life was very interesting and my favorite part of the book. 

This book will be available in the US on July 12th and is now available in the UK...




Monday, June 27, 2016

Tennessee Mountain Drive

We took a lovely ride on Father's Day with our neighbors and we went on a windy snaky road up a mountain. I thought you might like to go along! To the left of the road it goes straight down. Wish I could have gotten a shot of how far down for you! Remember I'm not an expert photographer but you'll get a taste for these scary roads!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Murder by the Book by Eric Brown

'London, 1955. When crime writer Donald Langham’s literary agent asks for his help in sorting out ‘a delicate matter’, little does Langham realize what he’s getting himself into. For a nasty case of blackmail leads inexorably to murder as London’s literary establishment is rocked by a series of increasingly bizarre deaths. With three members of the London Crime Writers’ Association coming to sudden and violent ends, what at first appeared to be a series of suicides looks suspiciously like murder – and there seems to be something horribly familiar about the various methods of despatch.

With the help of his literary agent’s assistant, the delectable Maria Dupre, Langham finds himself drawing on the skills of his fictional detective hero as he hunts a ruthless and fiendishly clever killer – a killer with old scores to settle.'


I loved this book! A wonderful plot, authors, publishers, editors and book reviewers being bumped off left and right! What a fun idea for a mystery! I immediately liked the main characters. Did not see the the solution at all, a wonderful surprise. 'Real' authors were mentioned throughout and one character had a little dog named Poirot! Can't wait to get my hands on the second book in this solid well written series.

Peggy Ann
 








Sunday, June 19, 2016

Colorful

We haven't done any yard work or landscaping yet. Been to busy in the house this year. Next year we'll tackle the landscaping. There were thick green leaves breaking through the ground behind the butterfly bush and we didn't have a clue what it was and lo and behold it turned out to be a Calla lily of some kind! Only one bloom on it. I don't know anything about lilies so I'll have to read up and move it somewhere showier. There's quite a bit of color going on in the yard though...




Hydrangea

Butterfly Bush ` It's a little spindly looking!

Common Lily


I didn't plant these Portulaca, they came up from previous years I guess. They left a lot of these pottery planters around the house when we bought it.


I picked up this birdhouse gourd at the festival in Hot Springs last weekend. The wind blew it down as I didn't have it secured well and I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up to see a bird had already started a nest in it. I was concerned it wouldn't come back and finish it but it appears it has! Have yet to catch site of it working on it.




This plant is a Nandina Domestica and very prolific around here. I have them all around the house. These white clumps of flowers turn to messy clusters of red berries. I'm pretty sure most of these will go next year. Maybe I'll leave the ones on the side of the house. Notice the two bees in the close up!



Sadly, this is my lovely Crimson King Norway Maple. Not so lovely anymore :( . The only thing we can figure is when the plumbers put in the new waterline from the street to the house they cut a tap root or something. The new line goes past the tree to the left. You can just about see it in the pic. When we bought the house last year this tree was full and healthy. Hopefully it just got a shock and will come back next year. If not we are going to put in new trees. I'd love to have a Copper Beech or Tri-Colored Beech.

Boss man cut down several trees to make way for the garage. It's being built early fall and then we will put in new trees. Hope I live long enough to see them mature! I was so upset when he had our trees cut down, but life goes on. He has promised new trees though!

Our neighbor on one side has a very messy yard and we have to decide what to plant along the property line to hide it! Something that grows big and fast!

Thanks for walking around the yard with me!

Peggy Ann

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This, That and the Other

The micro is in the way and I have twist
backwards to get to the other side.

What's been going on in Greeneville? A lot of chaos! The kitchen and the bath are tore up. No sink upstairs for the last two weeks. We have a utility tub in the basement, thank heavens. I'm getting my exercise running up and down the stairs!

Can you see the bowing? 
We got the new cabinets installed on May 30th and 31st. Then we had to wait on the countertops to be made to order. They are done and being installed on Tuesday along with the new sink. I'm very disappointed though. We purchased Diamond brand and spent a lot of money and there are several things wrong with them! Too many things for that kind of money.  A warped door on the pantry, 3/8th of an inch bowed out! The door next to the pantry is warped slightly too. A door too tight and scrapping the cabinet and marking it and it has a screw in crooked and the cabinet facing cracked, all the handles are loose with several broken off screws in them (that was the installers fault), one of the self closing hinges doesn't close and the one on the opposite door is slowly going bad too. The largest cabinet was suppose to have two roll-outs and a half shelf and only has one roll-out and no shelf, the pantry doors were put on backwards, they should have opened to the left. And the spice rack cabinet was put in the wrong place, right next to the microwave in a corner so that utilizing it is quite awkward. I am going to insist it be moved which will not make the installer a happy camper.
Missing in action!

The sales agent is coming out tomorrow to look over all the mistakes and I'm hoping we won't have to go to war. She has already ordered new hinges, new pantry door and the missing shelf and roll-out. She didn't sound to enthusiastic on the phone about the moving of the spice rack, but for that kind of money I just am not going to be put off. The new parts came and now I have lots of big boxes sitting all over again.




I do love the wood they are made of though, hickory, each door is unique. The new stove and refrigerator are being delivered on the 22nd. I'm crossing my fingers the fridge will fit where it is to go. I am afraid the installer put the cabinets to close to the end of the wall.

All we have to do then is paint and put in the new light fixtures and wa-la a new kitchen!

Trying to decide if I want to sand down my old table and chairs and paint them or just start looking for something new. I'd like to find something in an antique/used furniture shop with lots of personality over brand new.

The bath has been in 're-model' mode for going on two months! Just replacing the vanity and sink turned into replacing one wall and putting in new lighting and an electrical outlet. I'm happy to say the final painting was finished Sunday and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel! Good thing because the kids are coming home the first of July and their bedrooms are filled with bathroom or kitchen stuff!

We found a company to build our garage last week too. They were tickled that we have a nice level spot for it to go on and won't need to much grading done. We had the building inspector out twice, once to view the property and tell us what we can and cannot do and then he came back when bossman had it all measured out and marked and gave us the go ahead. We had to go to Johnson City and sign the contract for the building and then go get the building permit. We're all set and in September we should be the proud new owners of a garage! Bossman will be happy then!

I purchased a refurbished iPad Air 2 this last week and it vibrates something fierce when the sound is on! Contacted Apple and they tested it remotely and said it seems to be operating properly but something might be loose so I have to take it to an Apple repair dealer. Thank goodness its only 30 miles away in Johnson City! Don't they make anything right anymore?

Bossman's cell phone wasn't working well and we were notified that they are updating their towers and it wasn't going to work at all very soon. We got him a new one and then the transfer of the phone number didn't go through right so we ended up just getting a new number for him instead of waiting several more days. He just has a trac-fone as he doesn't use it enough to warrant another big bill. Very frustrating trying to get a hold of someone to work it out! Press this number, press that number, hold for 5 minutes only to be disconnected and do it again, transfer me to someone else and then someone else.... Isn't technology grand?! But he has a new smartphone now and my old iPad, this old man is moving into the new century! He's hooked on Words with Friends! Not only does he have to learn the new phone and all its gadgets, I set him up with Facebook last week too! Hope his brain doesn't short circuit on me!

You can see there's been a lot going on here, but Saturday we went to a bluegrass music festival in Hot Springs NC with our neighbors and we had a lovely time. A relaxing end to a busy week. Looking forward now to the free summer concerts at Dogwood Park each Sunday here in Greeneville.

Peggy Ann
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