Love Is a Fire That Burns Unseen

One of my avorites

The Genealogy of Style

Flaming June, Frederic Leighton, 1895. Ponce Museum of Art (Puerto Rico).
It is thought that the woman portrayed alludes to the figures of sleeping nymphs and naiads the Greeks often sculpted. The (toxic) Oleander branch in the top right, symbolizes the fragile link between sleep and death


“Amor é um fogo qu’arde sem se ver,
É ferida que dói, e não se sente,
É um contentamento descontente,
É dor que desatina sem doer.
É um não querer mais que bem querer,
É um andar solitário entre a gente,
É nunca contentar-se de contente,
É um cuidar que ganha em se perder.

É querer estar preso por vontade,
É servir a quem vence o vencedor
É ter com quem nos mata lealdade.

Mas como causar pode seu favor
Nos corações humanos amizade,
Se tão contrário a si é o mesmo Amor?”



“Love is a fire…

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BOOK REVIEW: Palmetto Poison by C. Hope Clark

I think C. Hope Clark gets better and better each time she publishes.  I won’t dwell on plotlines, because I want to note that there is more attention to the character and personality of the folks that populate this novel.  I didn’t even remember that Slade had a sister, but now I feel that I know her pretty well.  I learned more about the dynamics of her family and relationships in this novel that I had before.  Not all of it is positive (i.e. the depiction of her mother’s meddling), but isn’t that the way real families are? There is also enough action and adventure in this book to keep us reading until late in the night. Wayne is becoming more real to me too, and I am beginning to understand Slade’s doggedness when she is working her cases. Clark also chose a slick way to round out the character of Pamela, Wayne’s ex-wife and then effectively get rid of her too.  Well done. I can’t wait for the next novel!

Seen the Commercial for the PIC Cooking Element? Be Very Careful what you buy from these folks

In early February, I bought a PIC element, which I am very pleased with. It is a great alternative to a gas burner, which I can no longer have since I use oxygen. What I did not know was how usurious the shipping costs were. If I remember correctly, the final tally for what one buys flashes on the screen and then disappears. I had no receipt from them with the final costs in my email file. I estimate that I paid about $100 in shipping costs for a $99 dollar product, plus a griddle, some fondue forks, and pans that were advertised as “free.” I chose not to get two PIC elements as I didn’t think I need it, but I was a sucker for the “free” pans and a nominal cost for the griddle. Each of the “free” items ( a pot with a lid, two skillets and fondue forks) carried a shipping cost of $26.95. What on earth in this package could have added up to more than $100 in shipping? I have shipped packages home from foreign countries that didn’t cost that much. What a racket. I was a sucker and I got taken. But you can be sure that everybody I know will hear about this and that is why it is here on my blog. It is non-businesslike and greedy and it really sucks. Why is this necessary other than greed? I wonder how many other people got taken by this line?

A VERY unhappy customer, although I really do love the original product.


BOOK Review: Havisham

I was so excited to read *Havisham*, which is the life story of the MIss Havisham from Dickens novel *Great Expectations.* Having long been fascinated by her Gothic craziness, I was intrigued by the idea of isolating her story and telling it. In total, I enjoyed reading it very, very much. If I could have suggested one change to the author, it would be to use a bit more action in the story other than just recounting her (and some other characters) inner dialogue. I did think the author’s use of description and bringing the desolate setting and mood from the Dickens novel succeeded very well. This book is quite worth the time. I highly recommend this book to those who treasure Victoria literature and see if our imaginings of Catherine Havisham are similar to this writer’s ideas.

Book Review – IT Confidential

I really did enjoy this book and so will anybody else who has ever worked in an office. C.D. Rahm has been there and lives to tell the tales of woe, hilarity, despair and the downright pigheadedness of a colleague or two or three. From the moment I saw the author’s name, I knew I had to read it. I am married to an IT professional and I was an administrative secretary for more than 15 years. I could relate to all of the stories told in the book. Highly recommended by me. You’ll see yourself in many of them, an even if you don’t, the book is very funny.

Tidewater Murder by C. Hope Clark

Tidewater Murder is the second book in Cl Hope Clark’s Carolina Slade novels.  I have to say that I think it is even better than the first novel, Lowcountry Bribe.  Her characters are spot-on and full of personality.  Each one of them is a fully drawn person that you think you might recognize if you ever saw them in South Carolina. Specifically well done is Slade herself.  She’s not perfect, nor does she aspire to be.  She goes and gets herself into a muddle because she reacts without thinking a problem through.  How many of us can relate to that?  I know I can.  The plot of the novel is intricate, and Clark gives us enough descriptive detail of the setting that we can at least imagine what we think it looks like – especially those of us who have never been to South Carolina. This mystery involves Slade’s best friend Savannah and her office mates when they must investigate what has happened to some mortgaged tomato crops guaranteed by  the Department of Agriculture.  Also along in the investigation is Slade’s new man, Wayne Largo.Lots of crazy things happen when they are all out investigating the central mystery and round up and/or dispose of some really bad guys.  A very entertaining read.  I look forward to the next Carolina Slade mystery.

Surgery? ME??? NOOOOO!

I feel compelled to write about what has happened to me in the last month.  I went to the emergency room on July 30, after a long time of feeling pretty awful.  They admitted me immediately, as they thought I had severe pneumonia.  I ended up having more problems than just that.  I had an empyema in my right lung that they tell me was the size of a fist, long with the pneumonia and pleurisy.  Lots and lots of infection running around in me, concentrated in my lungs.

I had never heard of empyema, but I was to get very familiar with the havoc it can cause in one’s body.  One of the zillion doctors who looked at my x-rays and CT scan realized what it was and that it was more complicated than just pneumonia and I had a procedure to try and drain the fluid from my lungs.  They only got 500 cc’s out of me.  Although that seemed like a lot to me, the doctors were not happy. So I was scheduled for surgery. 

After the surgery, eight days in the hospital, three garden hoses through my ribs and more shots and antibiotics than I can remember, I came home from the hospital on Wednesday, August 7 in the evening, bruised from shoulder to fingertips. Thankfully, the garden hoses (it is what they looked like) have been removed… I had something called a pleural empyema. Which is an abscess in the lower lobe of my right lung. They tell me it was the size of a small fist and mostly encapsulated in there. I am still taking IV antibiotics once a day for the next 4 weeks, so if I had not gone to the emergency room on July 30 and been admitted, I would probably be dead or close to it. The empyema had ruptured into the pleural lining, and there was some infection floating around where it was not supposed to be. I still have four more days of IV antibiotics, as I write this on August 26.  I am still recuperating. The ironic thing is that I never, ever ran a temperature throughout the entire ordeal – in the hospital for eight days and the almost three weeks I’ve been home.  I don’t bounce back as quickly as I used to, either.  I am still kind of weak.


I won this book in the Giveaway program from LibraryThing. I read it in two days. Ms. Campbell is a good writer, and this novel shows her skill in writing a complex novel with a very engaging plot. Most of the characters were well developed, and as a reader I understood their motivations. My only quibble is with her villain and the villain’s mother. I found myself wishing for more information about why these two people were so dysfunctional. The story kept me interested, and I read until nearly two a.m. last night trying to finish. I don’t do that too often, but I really wanted to know what happened. I highly recommend this good read.

BOOK REVIEW – Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others

I enjoyed this book, even though I have little musical knowledge or background.  I thought it was a novel approach that I had not seen in a memoir before.  The idea of a “virtual choir” was intriguing to me since it would not have been something I would ever have dreamed of trying.  It made me wish I had a voice more appropriate to just singing in my car!