My Library Shelf – D

Before you think I only have serious history books in my home — here’s a fiction selection.

Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds

I was an adult before I discovered this novel of the Revolutionary War. As I turned the pages I kept thinking — This is good. The best I’ve read in ages.

Adventure, danger, and little slices of domestic life in 1770’s New York are within these pages. Men go to war. Women are left behind, easy prey for Indians. Or perhaps not such easy prey when they gather within a fort. This tale has stood the test of time.

Check your local library or bookstore.


Kitchen Gift

A couple is getting married. You want to give them a gift. One that will last. Perhaps it will need to survive a move (or two or more) and children.

In the decade when many of my friends (and myself) were taking the step of marriage several wedding gifts were popular. Toasters and blenders electric frying pans found their way into every new household. Linens were always popular and appreciated. But let’s go back to the kitchen.

Remember these?

A person would run out of numbers trying to tally the number of times these have gone from over – regular and microwave – to the table. And they travel well to pot-lucks. And store left overs in the fridge.

Do I still use them after all these years? Well, I needed to wash one before I staged this photo.


My Library Shelf — C

Several years ago, on vacation, I ended up in a bookstore.
While this is not a rare occurrence, it does not always lead to the discover of a gem. Today’s choice, for the letter C:

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam

I purchased it to increase my knowledge of the Korean War. It turned out to be an excellent choice. Well written. Pleasant to read. Sufficient maps.

It remains on my shelf as a reference. I have no doubt that I’ll continue to consult the index when a particular place or personality from that chapter of American history is mentioned.

This volume prompted me to look for others by this author. I found them at the library. Unfortunately, this was after his death. But I do urge others interested in 20th century American history to try at least one of his volumes.

Available wherever fine books are sold. Also at many libraries.


Cook’s Bouquet

Kitchen arrangement should be left up to the cook. Moving into a new apartment or home. Let the primary cook set up the cupboards and drawers. And decide witch items will be left in full view on the counter.

I’ve moved and set up several kitchens during my life. A few things are constant: the toaster is on the counter, dishes to the left of the sink, and cookie sheets in the oven drawer. Many more things are flexible and dependent on the type of storage available.

For years the slow cooker shared the counter with the toaster. Now that spot is taken by a coffee maker. When toddlers lived in the house the plastic storage containers were under the sink – beside the liquor. (I had my reasoning.)

And until I moved into my present home, a good many years ago, a drawer held the large mixing spoons, ladles, and spatulas. But due to the size of the available drawers, I needed to make a change. So I took a hint from kitchens visited and grace the room with a year around bouquet.

Within reach. Minimum tangle.


My Library Shelf — B

The Brandywine by Henry Seidel Canby.

Several years ago, on my first (and so far, only) visit to Delaware, I found this to be an enchanting small river. This historical study of the river makes a good read either before or after your introduction to the water rushing from Pennsylvania through Wilmington, Delaware to the larger Delaware River.

My only caution to the reader is to stay aware of the copyright date – 1941.

The shores of the river have been changed by man in these last decades. And while the river itself continues to wind through the land – the use of the land has changed from forest and scattered agriculture to sub-divisions and industry. (Not that industry is a new thing to the river. It’s water has powered many mills of many types through the years.)

History took place here. In the 18th and 19th centuries. And the 20th if you include the building boom which has taken place since publication. This book gave me a reminder that this nation is filled with moderate size rivers of great local importance.

Available at major on-line retailers and special order from your favorite bookshop.


Flexible Name

They dub it “Christmas” cactus. It’s best to use that in the broad sense of timing.

This year I have a new plant at my home. The friend of a friend was moving and unable to take her houseplants. So I went into this season without much information or expectations.

But first a step back. A previous plant – featured on this blog at least once – bloomed on it’s own schedule. As early as Halloween and around Valentine Day after a pause.

So consider my pleasant surprise when this new plant opened the first bloom a week before Christmas. And now when I scan the plant for buds, I figure I’ll have a bit of cheerful color in my bedroom well into January.

What’s the timing at your house? Is it a Thanksgiving cactus?                 Christmas? Valentine?


My Library Shelf — A

While drinking a hot cup of tea a few days ago, my gaze lingered on one of my bookcases. (Yes, I have more than one. Writers are readers.) A skim of titles got me to wondering. And then I started a list.

I ask you to join me on an alphabetical list of titles I have enjoyed through the years. It will be a mix of fact and fiction, old classics and newer titles. It would be great it you would find a title or two (or more) to your own liking.

So pour your own favorite beverage and sip as you read my Tuesday morning postings.

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. Copyright in 1955, this is a detailed account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The author contacted many of the remaining survivors and they were a rich source of information — in addition to other documentation.  My edition includes a plan of the boat deck and the passenger list.

Where to find? On-line retailers, special order at bookstores, or local libraries.


Fresh and Clean

A new year. Another 364 days of 2018 to do things right.

It’s so very nice to get a second, third, or whatever chance.

But the only way to not mess up is to do nothing — and sometimes that’s wrong too. So go ahead — take a stab at it.

Try a new thing.  Visit a new place. Make a new friend.

2018 is as close to a blank slate as it will ever be.

Make your Mark!